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.
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.
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.”