Quinnipiac’s comeback effort falls short, Canisius takes game one of series 7-6


Casey Wiederhold

Quinnipiac baseball drops to 14-20 on the season with Friday’s loss.

Zack Hochberg, Staff Writer

The Quinnipiac baseball team dropped its series opener 7-6 to Canisius on Friday afternoon. After finding themselves down 7-2, the Bobcats clawed their way back into the game, but the ninth-inning rally wasn’t enough to secure the win.

Senior outfielder Antony Donofrio got the Bobcat offense going early in the first inning, slapping a homer over right field wall off junior pitcher Matt Duffy to put Quinnipiac on the board first. 

Freshman pitcher Mike Poncini worked through the first two innings effortlessly, but found himself in trouble in the third. Junior infielder Max Grant took Poncinini deep to tie the game, and on the ensuing at-bat, senior outfielder Brennan Chisholm did the same thing as the Golden Griffins jumped in front 2-1. 

The Bobcats didn’t shy away from the No.1 team in the conference, and they struck right back in the fourth inning. After junior catcher Keegan O’Connor singled to left, the Massachusetts native advanced to third on a fielder’s choice and then scored on a fielding error by Grant at second to tie it up 2-2. 

The Canisius’ offense went back to work. In the bottom half of the fourth, redshirt sophomore infielder Josh Niles got on base after Poncini plunked him. Niles was able to advance to third on a single off the bat of graduate student designated hitter Dylan Vincent, and then came home to re-take the lead for the Golden Griffins thanks to a sac-fly from junior outfielder Carlin Dick. 

Quinnipiac head coach John Delaney saw enough of Poncini after that, replacing him with fellow freshman left-handed pitcher Matt Alduino. 

Alduino got the ball for the fifth, while Niles continued to make an impact on the game for Canisius, plating Grant on an RBI single in the fifth to widen the hosts lead to two. 

With the Golden Griffins’ offense firing on all cylinders, the Bobcats’ offense was quiet, as Duffy continued to deal for Canisius.The hosts weren’t satisfied with the two-run lead, scoring runs in both the sixth and seventh to increase the lead to five. 

In the sixth, redshirt sophomore catcher JT Ennen doubled before advancing to third on a wild pitch. Graduate student infielder Kyle Kush got the job done, doubling to bring Ennen in. In the seventh, Niles continued to wreak havoc on the Bobcat pitching staff, singling and then advancing to second on an error. Vincent took junior pitcher Andrew Cubberly yard on the following at-bat and the Canisius lead grew to 7-2.

Quinnipiac’s offense was quiet since the beginning of the game, and suddenly  woke up in the ninth. Graduate student infielder Kyle Maves got the rally started with a single, advancing to second on an O’Connor hit by pitch. Senior infielder McGwire Tuffy then walked, loading the bases. 

With the Bobcat dugout alive, redshirt junior designated hitter Sean Swenson rocketed a double, allowing Maves and O’Connor to score. After another walk, the Bobcats were able to trim the lead to two as Tuffy scored on a passed ball. 

Donofrio’s ground out allowed another run to score, but the Bobcats were down to their last out trailing by one. Junior infielder Sebastian Mueller flew out on the next at-bat, as Quinnipiac’s comeback effort fell just short. 

The two teams will meet again on Saturday for game two of the series. First pitch is slated for 2:30 p.m.