What happens in Florida stays in Florida: Iowa defeats Quinnipiac in 8 innings via mercy rule


Jack Muscatello

Quinnipiac baseball was outscored 23-2 in three games at the Snowbird Classic this weekend.

Ryan Raggio, Staff Writer

Rounding out the final game of the Snowbird Classic, the Quinnipiac baseball team squared off against Iowa for the second time in as many days. It was all Hawkeyes as they shut out the Bobcats 10-0 and the game was called due to a mercy rule in the eighth inning.

It was a promising start for Quinnipiac, as senior starting pitcher Kevin Seitter showed razor-sharp focus and pounded the zone with strikes. Iowa junior infielder Michael Seegers connected on a fastball, but Seitter pounced off of the mound and snagged the grounder for the first out. 

However, the wheels fell off of the bus after the first out. After a throwing error by senior infielder McGwire Tuffy and two free passes (one walk and one hit-by-pitch), the Hawkeyes were set up to do some damage with the bases loaded and one out. Errors were the Bobcats achilles heel all day. A throwing error by junior first baseman Sebatian Mueller allowed two runners to score for Iowa. Eventually, Seitter settled down and got out of the inning by dotting a curveball on the outside corner of the plate for the backwards “K.” 

The bats remained quiet in the top of the second, but Iowa came back on the attack as Seegers laced a line drive single to right field. The highlight of the day for the Bobcats came as they turned a 6-4-3 double play, highlighted with a split and scoop by Mueller, to get out of the inning. 

Quinnipiac set itself up to get back into the game after being down 2-0, but once again it couldn’t capitalize with runners on base to lead off the inning. Junior outfielder Jared Zimbardo lined the ball to Iowa redshirt junior second baseman Sam Hojnar and he doubled up the runner at second base to get out of the jam. 

The Hawkeyes put the nail in the coffin when the inning flipped to the bottom half. After a leadoff single to left to start the inning, Iowa graduate student Brennen Dorighi barreled a hanging breaking ball to the opposite field out of the park, increasing Iowa’s lead 4-0.  

Following the home run, two more Hawkeyes reached base, bringing up redshirt junior outfielder Brayden Frazier. Seitter threw a 1-2 curveball low, but Frazier kept his weight back, went down, and smashed it into the left-centerfield gap for a two-run double. 

Seitter’s day was complete before the end of the third inning. The Ridgewood, New Jersey, native finished the day letting up four earned runs with three walks and a strikeout in two-and-two-thirds innings pitched. Sophomore Mason Ulsh came in for relief and ended the Hawkeyes four-run third inning. 

Quinnipiac freshman outfielder John Heitzman joined the party after lining out into a double play in the top of the fourth inning. Iowa went back on the attack in the bottom half of the inning and added to its lead with an RBI double from sophomore outfielder Sam Petersen and an RBI single up the middle from Hojnar. 

For the fourth inning in a row, the Bobcats hit into yet another double play to end their chances of rallying back into the game. Another contributor to their downfall was the amount of errors made in the field and on the basepaths. Two out of the four times Bobcat runners were doubled up on a line drive. Quinnipiac gave Iowa free outs with the botches in the infield and errant throws. 

The Bobcats offense couldn’t string anything together and were down 8-0 heading into the bottom of the eighth, on the brink of being mercy ruled. The Iowa offense kept its foot on the gas and had the bases loaded. Adding onto the list of miscues, graduate student pitcher Frank Craska, who was in to pitch for Ulsh, balked, allowing a run to score to make it 9-0. After a fielder’s choice play allowed the tenth run for Iowa to score, the game would be called due to the mercy rule, which is when a team is up by 10 runs after six innings of play.

The best advice baseball coaches give to their players is to have a short memory. In this case, it’s best for the Bobcats to forget about this weekend and focus on the next. 

The Bobcats look to shake off a tough Snowbird Classic as they head to Maryland to face Maryland Eastern Shore Feb. 25 at noon.