Connecticut hands baseball second-straight loss

Alec Turner

The Quinnipiac baseball team fell to Connecticut by the final score of 5-3 on Wednesday afternoon. The Bobcats dropped a late 2-1 lead by letting up four runs in the top of the eighth inning.

Andrew Zapata picked up the win for the Huskies (21-19), going 7.1 innings, giving up three runs, two of them being earned. He brought a no-hitter into the sixth inning.

Matthew Osieja picked up the loss for the Bobcats, the reliever went 0.2 innings and surrendered four runs on four hits and two walks.

With Osieja being a freshman, the Bobcats don’t want this game affecting his performance later in the season.

“We won’t allow this to hinder his confidence,” coach Dan Gooley said. “He’s a strong willed individual.”

Nick Fabrizio started for the Bobcats, going seven innings and giving up one run off of five hits.

“Fabrizio was outstanding today, he went after every batter out there,” Gooley said.

The Bobcats have now lost two-straight, and fall to 15-18 on the year.

Quinnipiac struck first in the second inning. First basemen Vincent Guglietti led off the inning with a fly ball deep to center. UConn’s Jack Sundberg got mixed up with the ridge in center field, which led to a three base error that brought Guglietti to third base. Rob Pescitelli then drove in Guglietti with a groundout to a first basemen that was playing back on grass, giving Quinnipiac a 1-0 lead.

In the fourth inning, the Huskies got on the board to tie things up. Catcher Connor David got on with a fielder’s choice, and eventually stole second base. Following a Griffin Garabedian walk, UConn’s Sundberg singled to center to drive in David.

Other than Guglietti’s three base error in the second, Zapata shut down the Bobcat lineup, retiring 12-straight Quinnipiac hitters at one point.

Mike Palladino broke the no-hitter in the sixth inning with a two-out single to left field. Matthew Batten followed with a gap-splitting double to score Palladino all the way from first. This gave the Bobcats a 2-1 lead.

Quinnipiac starter Nick Fabrizio got pulled before the eighth inning and was relieved by the freshman Osieja. Bryan Daniello gave the Huskies a lead with a two-RBI single into right center field, scoring Connor David and Jon Testani. One pitch later, Tom Verdi scores on a wild pitch to make it 4-2. The last insurance run came from by way of a Bobby Melley double to left field that scored Daniello, giving the Huskies a three-run advantage. There was no looking back for the Huskies.

“We got a little sloppy and spiraled out,” Mike Palladino said. “Unfortunately, that’s how baseball works.”

The Bobcats tried making a late rally in the eighth. Mike Blumenthal walked, and was driven in freshman catcher Matthew Oestreicher, but that’s all Quinnipiac could do.

“It’s tough that we couldn’t pull away with this one, but we’re looking to turn it around this weekend,” Gooley said. “We just have to stay positive.”

The Bobcats go to Radford to open up a weekend series on Friday, with first pitch slated for 3 p.m.