Monthly Archives: May 2007

A Letter from the Editors

The WQAQ Sports Blog was an idea generated by the WQAQ Sports Department over the winter break between the fall and spring semesters this year.

We never thought it would get this big.

Since January 23, 2007, the day we started the blog, it has recieved just over 2,900 views from you, our loyal readers.

So for that, we say thank you.

Whether you are a parent of our fine Quinnipiac athletes, a parent of our fantastic WQAQ Sports Department staff that make up our writers, or a fan of Quinnipiac Athletics, thank you for reading all semester.

From the opening of the TD Banknorth Sports Center, to the firing of Joe DeSantis, to the hockey team’s run to the ECAC Hockey Championship Game, to the hiring of Tom Moore, and even through the baseball team’s trip to the NEC Tournament, this has been a truly historic semester for Quinnipiac Athletics, and we are truly glad we could bring it to you on this page.

So for the summer, we say adieu. But please know that we will be back in the fall. We hope to have have periodic articles over the summer, but WQAQ Sports will continue to endeavor to bring you the best Quinnipiac Sports coverage on the net when we return in the fall semester.

So until then, have a fantastic summer!

Sincerely,

Seth Rothman and Steve Tisi
WQAQ Sports Directors

Quinnipiac Golf Fails to Meet Academic Performance Score

Quinnipiac Golf Fails to Meet Academic Performance Score
By Jeremy Schilling

As first reported in the New Haven Register, the NCAA released its third ever report on academic performance among its athletes. Overall, most Division 1 schools did very well on the test. According to the NCAA, they said in their press release that “the third year of Academic Progress Rate [APR] data released May 2…show improvement in almost all sports, including football and baseball, two sports that in the past posted rates causing some concern among the membership.”

Two Quinnipiac programs, however, did not meet the minimum score of 925. Those programs are basketball, with a score of 910, and golf, with a score of 900. Responding to this issue, Chuck Menke, director of Athletic Communications for Quinnipiac, said, “All of our student-athletes and teams – including the men’s golf team – will continue to strive to reach or maintain such high standards in the classroom. Quinnipiac University remains committed to the total development of our student-athletes.”

A previous press release from Quinnipiac Athletics itself was quick to point out that four Quinnipiac teams were honored for having scores in the top 10 percent of their respective sports. To achieve this honor, the sport needs an APR score between 975 and a perfect 1,000. Those sports were baseball, field hockey, men’s indoor track and men’s outdoor track.

Speaking specifically for golf, Bobcats Head Coach John O’Connor said, “The APR data shows we have a severe situation that was due in large part to the golf teams in the past at Quinnipiac.”

Even though the NCAA indicated that overall penalties have dropped over the first three years of this program, there are still penalties to be assessed. According to the Register, the penalties assessed to the school for not meeting the minimum score range from public warning, reduced practice time for the individual sport, reduction in number of scholarships available to that sport, and, ultimately, banishment from postseason play for that sport.

O’Connor says he will make sure none of those penalties occur. “I will, however, see to it that the team continues to focus on the classroom and I will make sure the recruits understand that Quinnipiac is serious about this and I have every reason to believe the numbers will reflect how well the current team has done this year.”

Bobcats eliminated from NEC Tournament

Bobcats eliminated from NEC Tournament
by Seth Rothman
May 25, 2007

Pat Egan pitched the Bobcats into the nightcap on Friday in New Britain, Connecticut at the 2007 Northeast Conference Baseball Championships.

Chris Gloor couldn’t pitch them into the championship game.

Quinnipiac won game 4 of the tournament Friday afternoon by defeating Mount St. Mary’s 4-1 behind a fantastic pitching performance by senior Pat Egan. He threw a complete game 3 hitter, giving up the lone run, a walk and 5 strikeouts while throwing 116 pitches in what became his final appearance as a Bobcat.

Quinnipiac got off to a fast start, scoring in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a Ryan Rizzo double and a Tim Binkoski single. But The Mount fought back in the top of the third when Mike Gioioso was hit by a pitch, took second on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice bunt that was mishandled by Quinnipiac second baseman Randy Gress.

In the 4th inning, Quinnipiac showed signs of breaking out of the offensive slumber that had seen them score only 3 runs in the first 13 innings of play in this NEC Tournament.

Both Jeff Mainetti and Pete Kummerfeldt clubbed home runs off Mount starter Andy Germuth, giving Quinnipiac a lead they, and Egan, would not relinquish.

Thirty minutes after Quinnipiac wrapped up the 4-1 win over Mount St. Mary’s, they were back in action, facing off against Central Connecticut State for the second consecutive day. The winner would advance to the NEC Championship Game on Saturday while the loser would see its season come to an abrupt end.

Chris Gloor toed the rubber for the Bobcats in this pivotal game, and he was fantastic through 5 innings, holding Central scoreless.

The problem for the Bobcats, Evan Scribner was just as good for the Blue Devils.

In this elimination game, it was was scoreless through five and a half innings. But in the 6th, Gloor ran out of gas. Gloor gave up 5 runs in the inning, with the big blow coming off the bat of Garrett Walker, who doubled off the southpaw to drive in 2, and send the game out of reach at 4-0.

Meanwhile, Scribner was cruising, and the run support didn’t change matters. He finished the game with a complete game 6 hit shutout while striking out 12 Bobcat hitters as Central cruised into the Championship Game against Monmouth with a 5-0 win.

Quinnipiac ends its season 29-18-1, setting a new record for wins by a Bobcat team in a season, but falling short of their lofty expectations; a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Quinnipiac loses much of its offense, but their triplet of starters Chris Gloor, Joe Duffy, and Andy Mayer will return, as will oft injured Ryan Walfield, who saw action in only four games all season. Tyler Brett and Eric Bretscher will also return next year; two relievers who started to pitch very well late in the season.

The loss ends the athletic year for the Quinnipiac Bobcats. It was a banner year for the Division I school, which opened the $52 million TD Banknorth Sports Center, saw the hockey team come within 18 minutes of a ECAC Hockey crown, and saw a multitude of teams reach the NEC Tournament. 

Bobcats leave game 1 on basepaths

Bobcats leave game 1 on basepaths
by Seth Rothman
May 24, 2007

The Quinnipiac Bobcats left 14 runners on base, 12 of them in scoring position as Central Connecticut State defeated the Bobcats 3-2 in 10 innings today in game 1 of the NEC Tournament.

Andy Mayer pitched admirably in the loss, taking a shutout through the 8th inning. In the top of the 9th, however, he ran into trouble. After inducing left fielder Jay Schillaci to ground out to John Delaney at third, Mayer gave up back to back singles inducing Bobcats manager Dan Gooley to replace the righty with closer Tyler Brett.

After inducing a ground out by B.K. McLaughlin allowing both runners to move up a base, 9th place hitter Richie Tri drove the first pitch from Brett into center field, scoring both Casey Walko and Sean Allaire.

The Bobcats, top ranked in this NEC Tournament, would not go down quietly. Central pitcher Matt Gianini had allowed only 1 unearned run in the third inning, but he got touched up for the game tying run in the 9th.

John Delaney led off with a screaming double into the left center field gap, and after a Ryan Rizzo groundout sent Delaney to third, NEC Player of the Year Tim Binkoski singled to left field off CCSU closer Evan Scribner, scoring Delaney and tying the game at 2.

In the top of the 10th, however, Central took advantage of a spell of wildness by Tyler Brett. After singling between first and second, Adam Taha took both second and third on 2 wild pitches by the Bobcats closer. Jak Kidd’s fly ball deep to right field was the difference as Taha came home on the sacrafice fly.

The Bobcats fought in the bottom of the frame, but with Pete Kummerfeldt on second base, John Delaney was unable to deliver, sending the Bobcats to the loser’s bracket.

Tyler Brett takes the loss for the Bobcats, he falls to 4-3 on the season, while Scribner takes the win, he improves to 5-6. Mayer gets a no decision for Quinnipiac after throwing 8.1 innings and giving up only 2 runs on 7 hits.

Quinnipiac will now have to fight back from a deep hole. They will have to run the table in this double elimination tournament by winning four straight games if they want to reach the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years.

They will start that fight Friday at 3:30 when they face Mount St. Mary’s, who was defeated 9-0 by Monmouth in the second game of the day on Thursday.

Pat Egan will be the starter Friday for the Bobcats. Egan, the 5th year senior from Rocky Hill, CT is coming back from Tommy John surgery that he had last December, and is starting to regain the form that led the Baltimore Orioles to draft him in last year’s MLB Draft. Over his last two starts, Egan has been nearly unhittable,  sporting a 2-0 record and an ERA of 0.64.

You will be able to listen to the broadcast of that game on the WQAQ Bobcats Sports Network by following the link on our “Game Broadcast Page.” Matt Janik and Kevin Sokolski will have the call, with the pregame show starting roughly 15 minutes before first pitch at 3:15.

If the Bobcats win the game at 3:30 tomorrow, they will go right back on the field for the final game of the loser’s bracket in a game scheduled for 7:00. They will face the loser of game 3 of the tournament between today’s winners. If it goes that far, lefthander Chris Gloor is scheduled to be the starter that will try and send the Bobcats to Saturday’s championship series.

One thing is for certain. If the Bobcats leave 12 runners in scoring position tomorrow afternoon, Gloor may not get that chance.

Curran Making Strong Impact At Quinnipiac

Curran Making Strong Impact At Quinnipiac
By Zach Smart

Since stepping foot onto the scenic campus of Quinnipiac University in the fall of 2005, Fairfield product Tom Curran has made a big splash with the Bobcats’ top-tier tennis program.

Curran, who had a storied career at Fairfield Prep—where he garnered first team All-State and All-SCC accolades, was immediately plunged into a significant role. A recruit that Quinnipiac actively pursued and invested four years in, Curran didn’t disappoint.

He helped the Bobcats capture the Northeast Conference championship as a freshman in 2006, as he finished 4-0 in singles during conference action. This past season, Curran registered an overall record of 11-9 while winning three of four NEC conference matches.

Though nearly 30 miles down the Merrit Parkway in Hamden, Curran feels right at home.

“I couldn’t see myself doing anything else,” says Curran, an All-NEC second team selection.

“We have a lot of fun on our trips and we never let it get too serious, for the most part.”

The jump to Division-I tennis, according to Curran, included more all-around commitment.

“We play all fall, have winter break off, then we play all spring and summer. In college, it’s more of a team thing because you spend a lot of time with everyone and we all push each other to get better. We compete with each other and it helps us improve. And everyone is good in college, there are not many walk overs, you know?”

Quinnipiac’s season concluded with a 4-2 loss to Monmouth in the NEC semifinals.

Curran came into his element during the post-season tournament, with wins against Wagner and a critical 7-6, 6-3 victory over Vik Gupta during the Monmouth match.

“That was my emotional high (of the season),” explained Curran. “The team needed me to win and I knew I had to win to give us a chance. I felt the pressure, but it felt real good to get the ‘W.’”

Against Wagner in the conference quarterfinals, Curran was one of three double-winners, helping lift the Bobcats to a 4-0 trouncing of the Seahawks.

Curran and Glastonbury’s Scott Salway recorded an 8-0 No.3 doubles win over the Seahawks’ tandem of Will Shuler and Sheldon Wilson. Curran later defeated Shuler in a 6-0, 6-0 match.

“We have to re-load for next year,” explained Curran, noting that 2007 graduation will claim several of the Bobcats’ key players.

Aside from tennis, Curran says he also enjoys playing pick-up basketball at Quinnipiac. “I play basketball a lot still,” said Curran, who was a guard/forward during his stay at Fairfield Prep.

Any tennis players Curran would like to shoot hoops with sometime?

“Probably James Blake (professional tennis star from Fairfield),” said Curran. “He can jump and he’s quick.”

On the tennis court, Curran’s ready to take on a big role next season.

“We start in the fall, and we play about four tournaments and those are some very long weekends. But the real season is in the spring. Next year we have to re-load and be ready.”

Baseball clinches Regular Season Title

Baseball clinches Regular Season Title
by Seth Rothman
May 20, 2007

HAMDEN — There is one aspect of any baseball team necessary to win championships in the playoffs.

Pitching.

Sophomore pitchers Chris Gloor, Andy Mayer, and Joe Duffy are part of that necessary component that may lead Quinnipiac on their quest to return to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years.

The Bobcats seem to be following the mold of their counterparts from the 2005 season. That team had sensational juniors Chris Wakefield and Pat Egan lead the team to a regular season title and a Northeast Conference Tournament Championship. Back then, head coach Dan Gooley told his team everyday during the tournament, “We are here to win a Northeast Conference Tournament Championship. Period.”

It is time to revisit that phrase.

After taking three of four from Mount St. Mary’s last weekend to get even in the NEC standings, Quinnipiac needed any mixture of 4 wins and 4 Mount St. Mary’s losses to clinch the NEC title. While The Mount was finishing a four game sweep of Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday, Quinnipiac was attempting to sweep Sacred Heart in Hamden. Before game 4 of their series began, they knew they needed the final game of the regular season to go their way to clinch the NEC Regular Season title.

Mission Accomplished.

Quinnipiac defeated Sacred Heart 7-6 in a game as wild as its score. Duffy was uncharacteristically shaky, allowing five earned runs in 3 innings. The bullpen, however, delivered its normal stellar performance. Earlier in the day, junior Tyler Brett delivered 4 innings of superb relief work to help Quinnipiac capture a 9-7 win. So, in game two of the doubleheader, it was junior Eric Bretscher’s turn to hold Sacred Heart off the scoreboard. For 4 innings, he did, scattering only two hits and two walks while striking out three to earn the win.

The offense on this Quinnipiac team has been splendid all season, and this weekend was no exception. With the score tied at 6 in the 4th inning of game 2, Jeff Mainetti came to the plate. Mainetti, a senior from Guilford, CT, drilled his 11th home run of the season over the left field wall to give the Bobcats their final cushion, and the regular season championship.

Quinnipiac finishes the regular season 29-16 (21-7 NEC). The conference win total is a new school record.

The team is back in action on Thursday at the Northeast Conference Tournament when they face off against Central Connecticut State University at New Britain Stadium. WQAQ Sports will be there all weekend as part of the Quinnipiac Bobcats Sports Network; Matt Janik and Kevin Sokolski will have the call. Please visit the “WQAQ Sports Broadcast Schedule” page for information on how to connect to the broadcasts.

Thursday morning, on the way to the ballpark, you can be sure Quinnipiac head coach Dan Gooley will have one message for his team.

“We are here to win a Northeast Conference Tournament Championship. Period.”

Softball swept out of NEC Tournament

Softball swept out of NEC Tournament
by Seth Rothman
May 11, 2007

The Quinnipiac softball team (18-27, 12-6 NEC) saw its season come to an end on Friday thanks to two losses in the bottom of the seventh inning in consecutive games of the double elimination NEC Tournament.

Game 1 between top seeded Long Island (32-19, 16-2 NEC) and #4 Quinnipiac was a pitchers duel. Long Island pitcher Jenny Giles out-dueled Quinnipiac’s Kristin Sheriff for 7 highly impressive innings. Giles, the 2007 NEC Pitcher of the Year threw a no-hitter, allowing only 1 walk while facing 4 batters above the minimum. Sheriff matched her out for out until the second batter of the 7th inning.

After scattering 4 hits and allowing 1 walk through the first 6.1 innings, Sheriff left a 2-1 offering over the plate to LIU left-fielder Chelsea Martinson. She connected on a long homer to left field to walk off with the win for the top-seeded Blackbirds by a final score of 1-0.

Game 2 was a one-sided affair for most of the contest between the Bobcats and Wagner. Quinnipiac exploded for 4 runs in the second inning to take a 5-2 lead into the 3rd inning. By the time the bottom of the 7th had started, Quinnipiac was on top 7-3 with NEC Rookie of the Year Krista Seeman pitching for the Bobcats. However, things started to unravel thanks to three errors in the inning committed by Quinnipiac.

With the score 7-4 and the bases loaded full of Wagner Seahawks (32-18, 13-5 NEC), Andrea Lazzari doubled into the right center field gap, scoring 2 runners. After Seeman struck Victoria Batistelli out swinging, Joy Gallagher lifted a fly ball into center field. When it fell in front of center fielder Maria Browne, Quinnipiac’s season was over thanks to an 8-7 Wagner win.

Thanks to the win, Wagner advances to the loser’s bracket final against Monmouth for the right to face off against Long Island, who is already in the championship round of the NEC Tournament.

Quinnipiac’s season ends in the NEC Tournament after a season full of ups and downs. Quinnipiac loses four seniors from this year’s team, but retains its best player, Krista Seeman, and nearly its entire pitching staff.

Please stay tuned onto the WQAQ Sports Bobcats Radio Network in the coming weeks for the NEC Baseball Tournament. The Quinnipiac Bobcats are close to clinching a spot in the four team double elimination tournament, and should they make it, we will broadcast their games in the tournament. Please view the “Game Broadcast Schedule” page for more information on how to access the games from New Britain, Connecticut. The tournament begins on Thursday, May 24 and will end Sunday, May 26. Kevin Sokolski and Matt Janik will have the call.