A bizarre ending helped kill any chance of the Quinnipiac Bobcats baseball team making a comeback Sunday afternoon.
Down 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning, pinch hitter Jeff Carino drew a leadoff walk and was replaced by pinch runner John Simone. Things got interesting after Tyler Turgeon chopped a ball to second base. Simone and Jake Gorman collided in the basepaths as Gorman tried to field the ball. Simone and Turgeon were eventually both called out, prompting Quinnipiac coach Dan Gooley to argue the call.
The call stood, and sophomore Michael Amanti struck out swinging to end the game, as the Holy Cross Crusaders (5-13) defeated the Bobcats (3-11) 3-1.
The first half of the game was a pitchers’ duel between Quinnipiac senior Joe Duffy and Matt Shapiro. After Duffy allowed a double and a walk in the first inning, he set down the next 11 Crusaders in order before surrendering a leadoff single in the top of the fifth inning to Billy Cupelo.
The fifth is where Duffy had his most trouble. Cupelo reached second base Chris Sintetos sacrifice bunt and took third on a passed ball. He came around to score on Brendan McCrea’s two-out double in the right-center field gap. Matt Perry and John Sills followed with consecutive singles – Sills’ hit drove in McCrea – to give the Crusaders a 2-0 lead.
Holy Cross would push across another run in the top of the seventh inning. With two outs in the inning, Perry hit a fly ball to left that glanced off Ben Farina’s glove. Sills followed with an RBI single to left to drive in Perry and extend Holy Cross’ lead to 3-0.
Duffy was pulled after walking Eric Oxford, finished with 6 2/3 innings pitched. He gave up eight hits, three earned runs and two walks, while striking out five. His season record now stands at 0-3.
Mike Oskandy followed and promptly walked Gorman to load the bases for designated hitter Tim Hughes. Oskandy induced a groundout to first base to end the Crusaders’ threat.
Shapiro, on the other hand, scattered five hits through seven innings before running into trouble in the eighth. He gave up a leadoff double to Farina. After Anes Koummal flew out to left and Brian Monack struck out swinging, Shapiro was taken out of the game in favor of closer Ryan George. Catcher Michael Marmo promptly welcomed George into the game with an RBI single up the middle to cut Holy Cross’ lead to 3-1.
After Bryn Doyle was hit by a pitch, George struck out Joe Poletsky swinging to retire the side to close the book on Shapiro. In his 7 2/3 innings, he struck out two, walked one, and allowed six hits and one earned run to improve to 1-2 on the season. With his effort, George earned his third save of the year.
Quinnipiac returns to action this weekend, with home games against Binghamton on Friday, a doubleheader against Vermont on Saturday and a game against Hartford on Sunday.