Anthony Cinelli was two outs away from notching his first collegiate shutout for the Quinnipiac baseball team in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against Mount St. Mary’s, but Josh Winter’s two-run homer brought out the cold in the spring for the Bobcats (1-14, 1-2 NEC).
“He’s a battler, he has been for two years,” Quinnipiac head coach Dan Gooley said of Cinelli, who had thrown just 60 pitches heading into the seventh. “He kills himself. When he went to the seventh inning and he gets the first guy out, and then they get a runner on base, I still felt real good about him.”
Winter ruined another Bobcat pitcher’s day in his next at bat with an RBI single off Derek Lamacchia in the ninth inning to lead the Mountaineers to a 5-2 win. Mount St. Mary’s (6-12, 2-1 NEC) completed the sweep with an 8-3 victory to take a 2-1 lead in the weekend series heading into Sunday’s finale.
The Mountaineer bats kept rolling after the short break in between games, touching up starter Kyle Birdsall for four runs in the second inning, which began on a dropped pop up in the infield. Birdsall was knocked out of the game with two out in the third inning when Michael Foster’s single scored Winter to give Mount a 6-0 lead.
“He wasn’t himself the same way he was last week when he pitched against Holy Cross,” Gooley said of Birdsall, who allowed two earned runs in 6 2-3 innings in last Sunday’s loss to Holy Cross. “They made some good contact against him, and I made a decision to bring in [Alex] Russow.”
Russow pitched the remaining 4 1-3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out four.
Bobcat infielder Chris Migani followed up his three-hit day on Friday with a two-run single in the fifth inning of the first game. Mount starter Brady Feigl took the bat out of Migani’s hands in his first RBI opportunity in the third inning by walking him. Feigl struck out seven over 5 2-3 innings.
Bobcat catcher Kyle Nisson collected three hits on the day, including a double in the first game, to raise his batting average to a team-leading .409. He also leads the team in on-base percentage (.469) and slugging percentage (.455).
Gooley said the team will look to senior pitcher Todd DeFrancesco for the closing game of the series at 1 p.m.
“It always starts on the mound, and we got to play real good defense,” he said. “I don’t think we have a lot of margin of error for our ballclub to win. We have to turn around and play good a lot in a lot of different areas. That’s the kind of club we are.”
Game 1 box score
Game 2 box score