By Mike Radomski
( HAMDEN, CT) – On a cold and brisk day, the Mount Saint Mary’s Mountaineers (6-12) rallied against the Quinnipiac Bobcats (1-14) baseball team to sweep both games of a doubleheader 5-2, and 8-3.
In game one, Josh Winter hit a game-tying two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning off of Bobcat starter Tony Cinelli (Wall, NJ), and the Mountaineers would add another three runs in extra innings for the win.
The second game belonged to Mount Saint Mary’s as well. Early on, the Mountaineers scored the first eight runs of the game and closed the door late to win both games on Saturday.
The afternoon started with Tony Cinelli and Brady Feigl (Severn, MD) on the mound in the midst of a pitcher’s duel. Feigl worked his way out of a bases loaded jam in the third inning but struggled even more in the fifth inning.
Quinnipiac catcher Kyle Nisson (Wallingford, CT) and shortstop Mickey Amanti (Waterford, CT) led off the inning with back to back singles and both runners came around to score on a Chris Migani (Orange, CT) base-hit up the middle.
Both pitchers were then able to keep the opposition scoreless in the sixth inning and Tony Cinelli looked to close out the game in the seventh inning with a 2-0 edge.
Entering with a low pitch count in the 60s, the right-hander allowed a one-out single to the reigning NEC player of the year Shane Eyler (Taneytown, MD). First baseman Josh Winter (Timonium, MD) then stepped up to the plate as the tying run and crushed a 2-run home run to right-center field. The home run from Winter tied up the game at two and knocked Cinelli out of the game.
“Cinelli is a battler and has been for two years,” said Quinnipiac Coach Dan Gooley. “He got 2 strikes on Winter and tried to throw a pitch down and in, that just got up in his shoulders.”
The sophomore pitched 6 1/3 innings in the no-decision, allowing those two runs on a total of seven hits. Pitcher Derek Lamacchia (Whitestone, NY) entered and was able to finish the inning for Quinnipiac.
Outfeilder/pitcher Matt Matta (Woodbridge, CT) continued to throw for the Mount in the 7th inning after getting out of a jam in the 6th. The side-winding righty threw 3 1/3 straight scoreless innings to silence the Bobcat bats.
In the 9th inning, the Mount Saint Mary’s offense started to click against the Quinnipiac relievers. Josh Winter struck again with an RBI single to take the team’s first lead of the game 3-2. Andrew Rinaldi (East Rockaway, NY) then came in for the Bobcats but couldn’t get out of the inning. Michael Foster (Easton, MD) and Matt Matta also were able to add on RBI singles to increase the lead to three.
Ahead 5-2, Matta stayed in for the Mountaineers on the mound in the bottom of the ninth inning. The pitcher was able to retire the side in order and clinch the come from behind win for the Mount.
Lamacchia took the loss for Quinnipiac after throwing two innings on relief. In his third loss of the season, the right-hander allowed three runs (all earned) on the afternoon.
Mike Matta was credited with his first win of the season for his stellar relief appearance. The pitcher now finds himself with a 1-1 record.
After a half hour intermission, both teams stepped back on to the green grass at the Quinnipiac Bobcats Baseball Field to resume the NEC doubleheader.
Game two would be a different story compared to the first game. Where the Bobcats led most of the way in game one, the Mountaineers were able to came from behind for the win.
This time, it was The Mount who came out swinging and scoring early, while also holding down the Bobcats offense.
Kyle Birdsall (Orange, CT) started for the Quinnipiac Bobcats but only managed to throw 2 1/3 innings. Left fielder Kyle Kane (Boonsboro, MD) put the Mountaineers ahead with an RBI single in the 1st inning and then helped Mount Saint Mary’s extend the lead in the second.
“Birdsall was okay,” said Dan Gooley. “He wasn’t himself when he pitched last week against Holy Cross and they made some good contact against him [today].”
Michael Foster added an RBI double and Tommy Flynn chipped in an RBI single, but it was Kane’s run-producing single that handed the Mountaineers a 5-0 lead.
Foster also tacked on another RBI single in the fourth inning to make the score 6-0 and bring Birdsall’s afternoon to a close. The junior right-hander pitched 2 1/3 innings allowing 6 runs (3 earned) on 9 hits.
Alex Russow (Milford, CT) then came in for Quinnipiac and was able to end the inning for the Bobcats. Unfortunately for Quinnipiac, Russow would also run into a jam as the Mountaineers added two more runs in the fifth inning to pull ahead 8-0.
Throughout all of this, Mount Saint Mary’s starter Vincent Molesky (Montoursville, PA) was able to keep Quinnipiac scoreless. The freshman right-hander worked his way into and out of trouble early on, and his lone blemish was a three run inning for Quinnipiac in the bottom of the fifth.
Center fielder Brian Monack (Branford, CT) crushed a 2-run triple and third baseman Joe Poletzky (Riverside, CT) followed with an RBI single.
With the score 8-3, The Mount kept Quinnipiac scoreless the rest of the way to complete the sweep. Mount Saint Mary’s improves to 6-12 on the season and 2-1 in Northeast Conference play. Quinnipiac’s record now stands at 1-14 with a 1-2 record in the NEC.
The win marks the third in the collegiate career of Vincent Molesky. The freshman did walk six batters and allow six hits, but the righty was able to hold the Bobcats to just three runs. Kyle Birdsall takes the loss for Quinnipiac and falls to 0-2 on the season.
Both teams will meet again tomorrow at the Quinnipiac Bobcats baseball field in Hamden, Connecticut to complete the four-game weekend series. First pitch is scheduled for 1 o’clock on Sinatra Sunday.
“We need to make sure Sinatra Sunday starts and finishes,” added Coach Gooley. “We have to turn around and play good a lot, in a lot of different areas.”
The broadcast of the game can be heard on the Bobcat Sports Network presented by WQAQ beginning five minutes prior to first pitch.