Rider shuts out Quinnipiac 8-0 in second round of MAAC Tournament


Aidan Sheedy

Quinnipiac was shut out for the second time this season in its 8-0 loss to Rider.

Benjamin Yeargin, Managing Editor

On a blustery day at Clover Stadium in Pomona, New York, the Quinnipiac baseball team lost its second game in the MAAC Tournament 8-0 to the Rider Broncs.

Broncs graduate student left-handed pitcher Frank Doelling got the nod and ran into some trouble early when he beaned senior outfielder Anthony Donofrio in the top of the first.

Donofrio stole second and reached third on a throwing error from junior catcher Brian Skettini. However, Doelling stopped the Bobcat offense by striking out junior first baseman Sebastian Mueller and forcing graduate student infielder Kyle Maves to ground out.

“We got great pitching from (Doelling),” Rider head coach Barry Davis said on the ESPN+ broadcast. “He pitched seven innings, which is a quality start, especially in a tournament situation.”

Rider loaded the bases in the bottom of the first against sophomore right-handed pitcher Mason Ulsh and brought home a run via a sacrifice fly from senior outfielder Brendan O’Donnell, giving the Broncs an early 1-0 lead.

Mason Ulsh went seven innings – his longest start of the year – in the loss to Rider. (Aidan Sheedy)

Doelling kept the Bobcats bats dormant in the top of the second and third, minus a pop-fly double from redshirt junior designated hitter Sean Swenson that got caught in the wind.

The Broncs got the bats going again in the bottom of the third when senior first baseman Luke Lesch drove in senior infielder John Volpe with a base hit just past Maves. After a strikeout from senior designated hitter Socrates Bardatsos, Rider led the Bobcats 2-0.

Quinnipiac’s offense could not manage to string together hits in the top of the fourth or fifth, going down 1-2-3 in both innings. Doelling used a remarkably low eight pitches to get through the fourth.

“I just wanted to go out there and set the tone,” Doelling said on the ESPN+ broadcast. “I just wanted to … go out there and put together a good start.”

Rider continued to roll in the bottom of the fourth as senior infielder McGwire Tuffy’s error caused redshirt junior infielder Jordan Erbe to reach base. A Volpe single and a senior outfielder Scott Shaw single later, the Broncs led 3-0.

A Lesch dinger off the right-field foul pole put Rider up 4-0 in the top of the fifth. A double into right field from senior infielder Jack Winsett gave Ulsh some more trouble, but he got out of the inning without allowing any more runs.

A fielder’s choice from junior outfielder Jared Zimbardo and a Donofrio single later, the Bobcats had two runners on with the three-hitter Mueller coming up. The Califon, New Jersey product flew out to center which advanced Zimbardo to third.

Maves grounded out to second to leave Quinnipiac scoreless exiting the top of the sixth.

In the bottom of the sixth, Tuffy and Maves both made gold-glove caliber plays at shortstop by scooping a one-hop line drive off of Volpe’s bat and gunning him out at first. After six, it was still 4-0 Broncs.

Both starters completed and exited after the seventh inning, which was scoreless for Quinnipiac and Rider.

With the one-two-three hitters due up for the Bobcats in the top of the eighth and facing All-MAAC Rookie righty Clayton Poliey, here’s how it fared for Quinnipiac. Following a Zimbardo strikeout, Donofrio singled and stole second, Mueller flew out to right field and Maves grounded out to first. The Broncs continued to lead 4-0.

In the bottom of the eighth, with freshman lefty Matt Aldunio in, Rider tacked on another run from a single by Erbe over a leaping Tuffy to add another run for the Broncs. That wasn’t all.

After loading up the bases, Skettini cashed all of them in with a three-RBI double into the right-center field gap. Rider put the game out of reach and won 8-0 following a quiet top of the ninth from the Bobcats.

This is the second time the Bobcats were shut out this season, the first since Feb. 19 against Iowa.

Quinnipiac is not out of the MAAC tournament however, and will play either Manhattan or Canisius Friday at 3 p.m. whereas Rider will face No. 1 Fairfield Friday at 11 a.m.