It’s rare that Quinnipiac’s baseball team gives up 26 runs in a game. It’s even rarer that head coach Dan Gooley screams at his team after the game.
On Friday at QU Baseball Field, four of six Bobcat pitchers allowed at least four runs – three of them allowed at least six – and the team allowed a season-high 26 runs, losing to Northeast Conference rival Central Connecticut State 26-3.
“Our pitching staff was horrendous today,” Gooley said before he talked to his team. “I don’t care if they threw the ball underhand, we did not do a very good job. We did not rise to the occasion in regards to the challenge.”
After the game against the Blue Devils, Gooley did his usual postgame interviews, then went over to his players in the dugout, sat them down, and yelled at them all.
The Bobcats (14-24, 10-15 NEC) entered the series opener with a chance to claim a playoff spot if they could win the series. Instead, this game left the Bobcat ball club in shambles.
The last time the Bobcats allowed 26 runs: March 10, 2009. That game, two Quinnipiac pitchers each allowed at least 10 runs, as the Bobcats lost 30-10 to College of Charleston.
“You don’t forget things like that,” Gooley said. “When you deserve to get beat up like that, you have to take it like a man and you just move on to tomorrow.”
CCSU (20-17-1, 12-9) pounded out 27 hits Friday, just two days after it scored 14 runs and recorded 14 hits against the University of Connecticut in a 16-14 loss.
Quinnipiac starter Derek Lamacchia allowed the first five batters to reach base in a three-run first inning, and left midway in the third. He allowed six hits and six runs (four earned) in his 2 2/3 innings of work.
“I think he’s up in the strike zone with his fastball and he’s up in the strike zone with his breaking ball,” Gooley said. “He hasn’t made an adjustment (to get his pitches) down. He’s got a good arm, but if you pitch up and don’t throw the ball by their bat, they’re going to get to you and crush it.”
Since Lamacchia’s 8 2/3-inning outing against Sacred Heart, he has a 6.50 ERA, he has failed to get past the fifth inning in three of his past four starts, and his season ERA has risen from 1.07 to 2.96 in the span.
Quinnipiac’s relievers didn’t fare better, either. Kevin Castodio allowed eight hits and eight runs (seven earned) in just 1 2/3 innings of work, Neil Mammale didn’t retire any of the four batters he faced, and Ryan Walsh gave up five runs in the ninth inning.
“I think [the bullpen] exploded, no question about it,” Gooley said. “It was a big game for us today and we did not pull the trigger and we did not rise to the occasion. It was not a good effort.”
Sean Miller-Jones and Pat Epps each hit two home runs for a team that had 11 entering the game. Miller-Jones, who finished 3-for-6 with six RBIs, hit a two-run home run to make it 5-0 in the third inning, and hit a three-run round tripper to make it 9-2 in the fourth.
Epps went 4-for-7 with five RBIs and hit a three-run home run in the seventh to make the score 21-3, and hit a solo shot to start the ninth and give the Blue Devils their 22nd run of the game.
“This Central Connecticut team is a good club,” Gooley said. “They came in here to beat us up when they got the chance today and they took advantage of it.”
Mitch Wells went 5-for-7 and five other players had multi-hit games for Central Connecticut. CCSU bat around in the fifth inning and tallied seven runs on six hits. The Blue Devils scored three runs in the first, third and fourth innings, and five in the seventh and ninth.
Todd Savatsky kept the Bobcats at bay, forcing 11 ground ball outs and allowing three runs (one earned) in his seven innings of work.
Savatsky snapped Ben Farina’s nine-game hitting streak, as Farina went 0-for-5.
Kyle Nisson went 3-for-4 and Gabe Guerino reached base three times, but Quinnipiac went 4-for-17 with runners on base and left eight runners on base in the game.
The teams play a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon beginning at 1 p.m.