QU’s shaky start, late errors costly in Stetson victory

By: Michael Radomski
WQAQ Quinnipiac Baseball Beat Writer 
March 13, 2007 

DeLand (Fla.) – The Hatters of Stetson University defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats 9-7 last night.

Quinnipiac again trailed early, a trend that has haunted the Bobcats too often this season. Yesterday, Stetson University led 5-0 after the first three innings and appeared to be on their way to victory.

The Hatters rallied verse Bobcat starter Paul Gibson for two early runs in the bottom of the 1st. Cleanup hitter Justin Bass ripped a double down the left field line, scoring both Shane Jordan and Braedyn Pruitt.

Up 2-0 in the 2nd, the Hatters added two more runs with a Josh Clendenin RBI double and an RBI groundout to 2nd from Shane Jordan.

In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Justin Bass continued his bashing of the Bobcats with a solo home run to lead off the inning. Bass’ bash, his 1st of the season, propelled the Hatters an early 5-0 lead, but once again Quinnipiac started the comeback.  

In the top of the 4th inning, Quinnipiac finally put a run on the board courtesy NEC Player of the Week Pete Kummerfeldt. The New Jersey native singled home Randy Gress to cut the lead to four.

Stetson stormed back with another run in the bottom half from their cleanup hitter Justin Bass. The DeLand native continued to wreak havoc on Gibson, with a sacrifice fly to center field, his third RBI of the game.

In the 5th, Stetson starter, Jake Hitchcock, was rocked for the 3rd straight inning. Quinnipiac tacked on two more runs in the frame due to John Delaney’s RBI double and an RBI groundout from Ryan Rizzo. The Bobcats however still trailed 6-3.

Phenomenal pitching from both Paul Gibson and Jake Hitchcock kept the score 6-3 until the top of the 8th inning when the Bobcats were on the prowl for more.

The comeback kids from Quinnipiac battled back and tied the game against a barrage of Stetson relievers.

Jake Hitchcock started the 8th and pitched to two batters. Relievers David Burns, Nick Pugliese, and Ian Thompson followed as the Hatters tried to stop the bleeding.

Quinnipiac sent eight batters to the plate in the 8th inning and it all started with three consecutive hits.  

John Delaney lead off the rally with a double down the left field line. Ryan Rizzo followed that with an RBI single scoring John Delaney and chasing Jake Hitchcock from the game.

Reliever David Burns entered and allowed a Tim Binkoski single to right field. That was it for Burns as he was pulled for the 3rd pitcher of the inning, Nick Pugliese.

Pugliese then retired both Ryan Gress and Wilson Matos for the first two outs of the inning. With runners on first and third, Pete Kummerfeldt reached on Josh Clendenin’s catcher interference to load up the bases.

Jeff Mainetti ripped the game-tying single through the left side driving the Bobcats dugout crazy. The Bobcats tied the game as Tim Binkoski and Ryan Rizzo came around to score.

Ian Thompson then entered the game as the 4th reliever of the inning for Stetson. Jeff Carino then pinch-hit for Quinnipiac and grounded out to 1st unassisted to end the inning.

With the score tied at six, Coach Gooley stuck with Paul Gibson on the mound to enter the eighth inning. Between the 4th and the 7th innings, Gibson retired twelve of fourteen batters. He struggled before that allowing six runs on eleven hits and two walks.

Gibson started the eighth inning allowing two hits. Josh Clendenin hit a single, and then Kevin Johnson dropped down a bunt to 3rd base. John Delaney fielded the ball but threw it into right field. Ryan Rizzo’s relay home beat Clendenin and  put him in a pickle.

However, Clendenin was awarded home as catcher Jeff Carino was cited for obstruction. Stetson took the 7-6 lead as Clendenin scored and Johnson moved over to 3rd, on the bunt, and two errors.

Chris Gloor then entered the game and surrendered an RBI double to Shane Jordan, putting the Hatters up 8-6. Stetson University would add one more run in the frame with Justin Bass’ third hit and fifth RBI of the game.

Heading into the 9th inning, the Bobcats trailed 9-6, and needed one more comeback. Quinnipiac could only tally one run and lost to Stetson 9-7.

The Bobcats committed four errors in the game, two in the bottom of the eighth, that proved costly. Quinnipiac has now allowed eleven runs in five games as the Bobcats drop to 2-3 on the season.

Stetson University improves to 14-6 on the season with the win, and the two teams will play tonight in the 2nd game of this 2-game series. The contest will began at 7 PM once again at Melching Field in DeLand, Florida.

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