Hitting Horan: Sydney Horan Comes In Clutch to win 3-2 over Bryant


Photo: Alex Bayer

Noah Epstein

Sydney Horan’s clutch pitching and hitting in the fifth inning led the Bobcats to a comeback 3-2 win over the Bryant Bulldogs. 

Horan replaced first year Jaclyn Gonzalez in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and one out. Gonzalez had a rough first inning, letting up three hits and a run off a Sarah McKeveny RBI single. But after that, she settled down and didn’t allow a run over the next three innings. 

The Bulldogs led 1-0 heading into the fifth, as the Bobcats offense got only one hit through four innings. The hit came in the third inning by sophomore Karolyn Walker on a double, as the ball went off the glove of Bryant center fielder Hailey Aspinwell

In the top of the fifth, Gonzalez let up a run due to an error by first baseman Taylor Walton and then a fielder’s choice that allowed pitcher Caroline Paolantonio to score, making it 2-0 Bulldogs. A walk loaded the bases, and in came Horan to relieve Gonzalez.

Horan got McKenzie McAloon to strikeout swinging and Alyssa Garabedian to ground out to first base, and got out of the bases-loaded jam to keep the Bobcats in the game. 

The bottom of the fifth started out disastrously for Quinnipiac. After a leadoff single by catcher Kayla Jensen, Walton attempted to bunt to move Jensen over to second base. Walton got the bunt down, she was thrown out at first, but Jensen took too wide of a turn at second and got herself in a pickle. Jensen made a gigantic baserunning blunder, hesitating and letting first baseman Megan Marcel have plenty of time to get the ball over to second base. She was run down, and the Bulldogs put an end to the Bobcats threat.

But the Bobcats still had one out to work with.

After back-to-back walks, up came Horan for her first career at-bat. 

“I was just telling her to calm down,” Quinnipiac head coach Hillary Smith said. “She knew it was a big moment for her and everybody was hyping her up a little bit and I told her ‘Don’t make the moment bigger than you. Just take a deep breath and have fun.’” 

Horan drilled a fastball right back up the middle, scoring Gianna Palmisano and making it a one-run game. She then came around to score the go-ahead run on a two-run RBI single by first year Brooke Hilliard to make it 3-2 Bobcats.

Horan then went back on the mound and retired the side in the sixth, making it five retired batters in a row for her. That streak extended to six in the seventh inning, but then Horan allowed a double and a walk, and Bryant was threatening in the last inning of regulation.

Sophomore Alexis Clancy hit a deep drive to right field, but Walker made the catch in front of the wall for the second out of the inning. Horan then got McAloon down on strikes to end the game, a game in which she got out of a bases-loaded jam, got the Bobcats on the board with an RBI single, scored the eventual game-winning run and closed out the 3-2 win.