Monmouth Completes Weekend Sweep of Quinnipiac

Monmouth Completes Weekend Sweep of Quinnipiac
By Jamie Palatini
April 21, 2008

The Quinnipiac Bobcats saw firsthand what an all-around solid baseball team looked like this weekend. And they weren’t looking in the mirror.

With a 4-1 victory on Sunday, the Monmouth Hawks completed a four-game sweep of Quinnipiac this weekend in West Long Branch, New Jersey. Through the four games, Monmouth outscored Quinnipiac 39-10. The Hawks now stand atop the Northeast Conference at 23-9 overall and 11-1 in conference play. Quinnipiac’s overall record is now 8-24, and the Bobcats now reside at the bottom of the NEC with a 3-9 conference record.

Game 1: Monmouth took the first game of the series 18-5 behind starter Brad Brach who pitched eight strong innings, allowing only two runs on eight hits. Quinnipiac’s Chris Gloor took the loss (1-4) giving up seven runs, four earned, on eleven hits. The Hawks broke things open once they got into the Quinnipiac bullpen. Todd DeFrancesco, who has been one of the best relievers this year for the Bobcats, was lit up for nine runs on 10 hits in only 2.1 innings of work. Catcher Michael Marmo was the lone bright spot for Quinnipiac, providing most of the offense for the Bobcats with two home runs and three RBIs.

Game 2 (7 innings): The first game of a doubleheader Saturday went to Monmouth by a score of 10-3. Quinnipiac led 1-0 after Ben Farina scored on a wild pitch in the first inning, but it was all Monmouth from that point on. Tyler Brett (2-4) was touched up for seven runs on 10 hits over 4.2 innings. The top of the lineup was key for Monmouth, with the 1-2-3 hitters going 8-12 with five runs scored and five RBIs. John Delaney drove in two runs for Quinnipiac with his sixth home run of the year.

Game 3 (7 innings): Monmouth took the second half of the doubleheader 7-1 on the strength of a dominant pitching performance by Matt Marc-Aurele. The Wayne, New Jersey native pitched six innings, allowing one run on three hits to earn his second win of the year. Andy Mayer (2-2) took the loss for the Quinnipiac allowing seven runs, four earned, over four innings. Michael Marmo and Blake Barone were the only Bobcats to reach base in the game.

Game 4: The Hawks completed the weekend sweep on Sunday with a 4-1 victory. Again, the story was fantastic pitching from Monmouth. Brett Brach (3-1) pitched 6.2 innings and allowed only one run while scattering five hits. Joe Duffy went the distance for Quinnipiac, allowing four runs on six hits to take the loss. Freshman third baseman Ryan Terry went 2-2 with an RBI and two runs scored for Monmouth.

The weekend was a culmination of the problems Quinnipiac has had all year; spotty offense, erratic pitching, and bad defense. Pete Kummerfeldt has cooled off after a big start to the season, and has just two hits in his last 17 at-bats. The Bobcats’ defense committed nine errors over the four-game series. The pitching staff gave up 39 runs. They’ve now lost six straight games, and are 3-15 in their last 18 games.

But a lot of the credit has to be given to Monmouth, who’s 11-1 NEC record is tops in the conference. Monmouth is an offensive powerhouse, with a lineup that boasts seven starters with batting averages over .300, and double-digit RBI numbers for every starter. The pitching staff is just as good. Monmouth has two solid starting pitchers in Marc-Aurele and Brach, both of whom have earned run averages under 2.75.

Quinnipiac will look to snap their six-game skid Wednesday when they travel to Burlington, Vt. to face the University of Vermont in a doubleheader. This will be the second time these two teams have met in the last week; Vermont beat Quinnipiac 10-7 this past Wednesday in Hamden.

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