Quinnipiac dominated by Iowa, fall 7-1 in Snowbird Classic opener


Daniel Passapera

The Bobcats only mustered one run in Saturday’s loss to Iowa.

Colin Kennedy, Staff Writer

Opening day for any baseball team brings a sense of hope and rejuvenation for the season ahead. For the Quinnipiac baseball team, it was anything but, as the Bobcats fell 7-1 to the Iowa Hawkeyes in its first game of the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Florida, Saturday afternoon.

The early stages of the game were dominated by pitching as both lineups struggled to find a rhythm. Iowa sophomore starting pitcher Brody Brecht was outstanding from the jump, striking out Bobcats’ outfielders, junior Jared Zimbardo and senior Anthony Donofrio in the first frame.

Quinnipiac’s senior starting pitcher, Jimmy Hagan, had more trouble easing into the contest than Brecht. Hagan hit the second batter of the game with a wild pitch and walked the third. The right-hander soon settled in though, as he struck out the next two Hawkeye batters.

Both pitchers cruised through the second inning unscathed, but in the third inning, Iowa showed off some of that Big Ten power. Redshirt sophomore designated hitter Keaton Anthony opened up the scoring, taking Hagan deep to left field for a solo home run. The Hawkeyes weren’t done, however, as later in the third redshirt junior left fielder Brayden Frazier knocked in two more runs with a double down the left-field line.

After the third inning, Hagan’s day would be complete, but Brecht’s day was only getting started. The right-hander was putting down Bobcats at will with seven strikeouts through four innings. For the first 12 Quinnipiac batters who faced Brecht, none of them were able to reach base.

Despite being no-hit, the Bobcats were able to keep the game within reach However, the HawkkeyesHawkeyes blew the game open in the fifth. Freshman pitcher Andrew Rubayo made his first appearance in relief for Quinnipiac, but Iowa didn’t give him a warm welcome.

The Hawkeyes immediately loaded the bases on Rubayo and began to dismantle the right-hander, putting up four runs in the frame, thanks to some timely hits along with a sacrifice fly and a bunt.

Brecht’s day was done entering the fifth, but not before he did some serious damage to the Bobcats’ lineup. The sophomore pitched five perfect innings, and paired it with 10 strikeouts. Iowa didn’t struggle to find a replacement out of the bullpen, as redshirt sophomore relief pitcher Zach Voelker picked up where Brecht left off.

In the top of the sixth, Voelker sat down Quinnipiac with three straight strikeouts, continuing the Hawkeye pitchers’ perfect day. In the bottom half of the inning, Rubayo was able to settle in and did not allow a run, thanks to the help of a double play.

The Bobcats were finally able to get a run in the top half of the seventh as Zimbardo broke up the perfect game with a double. Junior catcher Keegan O’Conner proceeded to knock in Zimbardo with a sacrifice fly to right field.

Both Rubayo and Voelker finished the game on the mound, but Iowa slammed the door shut on the Bobcats. The Hawkeyes struck out 16 total Quinnipiac batters and finished it off 7-1.

Quinnipiac will take on Indiana State in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader at 3:30 p.m. The Bobcats will have a shot at redemption tomorrow as they’ll have another crack at the Hawkeyes at 10 a.m.