Quinnipiac baseball falls to Rhode Island 8-7 after late comeback attempt comes up short


Connor Gorman

Quinnipiac baseball is set to play a three games series against Marist this weekend.

Mike King, Contributing Writer

Hamden, Conn. — A bases loaded comeback attempt in the bottom of the ninth inning fell just short for the Quinnipiac Bobcats Wednesday, as they lost to the Rhode Island Rams 8-7. 

Senior right-handed pitcher Sam Favieri started the contest for the Bobcats, but didn’t last long. He walked the first three batters he faced before head coach John Delaney took a trip to the mound. Graduate student right-handed pitcher Frank Craska would pitch in relief for the first three innings. 

Rams sophomore catcher/outfielder Eric Genther hit a single to right field in the first inning, which scored two runs, forcing the Bobcats to play catch-up from this point on.

Errors would be a crucial part of this game, as the Bobcats committed three on the day. 

“Early in the game, it wasn’t the best ball,” Delaney said. He stated they were “a couple of uncharacteristic errors…it’s something I’m not really worried about to be honest.” 

In the second inning, the Bobcats would surrender another run after Rhode Island redshirt junior utilityman Addison Kopack singled, bringing in redshirt senior outfielder Mark Coley to score. This pushed the Rams’ lead to 3-0.

However, the Bobcats were determined to regain momentum. 

In the bottom of the second, senior infielder McGwire Tuffy singled to center field, bringing home freshman outfielder John Heitzman and junior catcher Keegan O’Connor. The Bobcats were now on the board, cutting their opponents’ lead to one.

Craska would allow two more runs in the third inning, making it 5-2 Rams. Delaney again made another early trip to the mound to give the ball to freshman left-hander Matt Alduino. 

Alduino would go on to allow three runs, two earned, and three hits in two innings of work.

In the top of the fourth inning, the Rams struck again. They  scored on an RBI groundout from freshman first baseman Michael Anderson, which extended their lead to 6-2. 

During the bottom half of the inning, Quinnipiac put up two more runs after senior outfielder Braydon Seaburg was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Tuffy then reached via fielder’s choice, allowing O’Connor to score, cutting the Rams’ lead back to two.

Rhode Island was not done. Redshirt freshman second baseman Ryan King singled to score a run in the fifth inning. Shortly after, Alduino was called for a balk, allowing another run to score and putting the Rams in front 8-4.

After this, the Bobcats’ pitching staff tightened up. Right-handers sophomore Ryan Hutchinson and freshman Mike Poncini and freshman Aaron Zenus would combine for four shutout innings, only allowing two hits the rest of the way.

“I think we had guys that came out of the pen that pitched extremely well,” Delaney said..

The Bobcats made some noise in the seventh inning, when senior outfielder Anthony Donofrio hit a two RBI triple down the right field line to score junior outfielder Jared Zimbardo and sophomore infielder Matt DeRosa. Graduate student infielder Kyle Maves followed this up with a picture-perfect bunt, scoring Donofrio from third easily. The Bobcats were now only down 8-7.

In the top of the ninth, Zenus gained the team some much needed momentum when he struck out all three batters he faced.

Donofrio then again came up clutch, singling to left field to start a potential rally. Junior first baseman Sebastian Mueller then singled to left field. Maves bunted again, this time reaching base, loading the bases for the Bobcats with no outs. 

However, the baserunners would stay stranded, as Quinnipiac was unable to make any sort of walk-off magic happen in front of a pumped up crowd. 

“They did everything they were supposed to do, down in a game, to win a game,” Delaney said. “(They) showed a ton of resilience.” 

The Bobcats are back in action at home against Marist on Friday at 3 p.m.