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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac baseball caps off ‘huge weekend’ with 10-4 win

Quinn O’Neill
Sophomore outfielder Gabe Wright swings at an incoming pitch in a game against Canisius on April 20.

HAMDEN — In Quinnipiac baseball’s 10-4 win over Canisius Sunday afternoon, the Bobcats recorded eight hits. 

In only one of those eight at-bats did a Quinnipiac hitter reach two strikes — junior first baseman CJ Willis’ RBI single in the first inning was the exception. 

“It’s just plate discipline … having a good understanding of what pitches we are going to see the most,” head coach John Delaney said. 

That aggressive approach allowed the Bobcats to outscore the Golden Griffs 24-8 this weekend. 

It allowed sophomore outfielder Gabe Wright to go yard for the first time in his Bobcat career yesterday, it was good enough to allow the Quinnipiac offense to score double-digit runs today and it was good enough to propel the Bobcats to a weekend sweep.

Ultimately, it was a “huge weekend,” for Quinnipiac baseball, as Delaney put it.

Here’s more about the Bobcats series-ending victory:

1-2-3 does the heavy lifting:

Seniors outfielder Jared Zimbardo and catcher Keegan O’Connor along with sophomore designated hitter Christian Smith were responsible for driving in eight of Quinnipiac’s 10 runs. 

Zimbardo went a solid two for five at the dish while driving in three and scoring another one. O’Connor homered to right-center in the third for his fifth of the season and first in over a month while driving in two runs of his own.

However, Smith had the biggest impact of the three. 

In the fourth inning with freshman infielder Spencer Chard and O’Connor on base, Smith unloaded on a pitch from Golden Griffs sophomore pitcher Sam Staerker. It soared over the left field wall and once it fell, it was 7-2 Quinnipiac.

“It came down to timing and looking for that pitch,” Smith said.

The aforementioned Willis and junior infielder Matt DeRosa also drove in a run each, but without the contributions of the top three in the order, the Bobcats may not have been looking at a win.

Bullpen sizzling:

With two and three Bobcat pitchers pitching the respective Friday and Saturday wins, Sunday featured four different arms out of the bullpen.

Graduate students right-handers Skyler Manelski and Jimmy Hagan and left-hander Jack Kabel combined for 4.2 innings of two-run baseball. 

“I didn’t have the best command … but I just worked through it, got my outs and trusted my defense to make plays for me,” Kabel said.

However, sophomore right-hander Andrew Rubayo — who also was the winning pitcher in Sunday’s contest — pitched 4.1 innings while allowing six hits and two runs.

Rubayo earned his 13 outs by forcing ground balls from Griffs’ hitters and relying on his defense to make plays for him, which they did.

Just what the Proctor ordered:

Speaking of the defense, junior infielder Dominick Proctor’s glove at short absolutely shined. You could’ve almost thought he was mining with how many gems he made Sunday.

For starters, Proctor turned his own double play in the fifth to help Rubayo get out of his last full inning of work unscathed. 

Then in the seventh inning on a ball to his right, Proctor backhanded the ball. With his momentum taking him towards third, he threw a laser to Willis at third to throw out Canisius junior infielder Trent Rumley.

Proctor went 0-3 at the plate, but his defense showed why he’s become a regular in Quinnipiac’s starting lineup. 

Final thoughts:

Quinnipiac has a mid-week matchup with Central Connecticut State University, then has a three-game weekend set against the Manhattan Jaspers. 

If the Bobcats — who are riding a four-game winning streak — want to stay hot, then they must have the top of their order lead the way and ride the wave that formed this weekend.

Quinnipiac currently sits fourth in the MAAC, with a series against two of the top three teams on the horizon. 

First pitch against both CCSU on Wednesday and Manhattan on Friday is slated for 3 p.m.

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Quinn O’Neill
Quinn O’Neill, Associate Multimedia Editor

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