Three home runs push the Bobcats past Monmouth, winning 13-5


Photo: Kaylyn Terry

Zachary Carter

The Quinnipiac baseball team made baseballs look like beach balls on Friday, smashing three home runs and 14 hits en route to a 13-5 victory over the Monmouth Hawks.

Quinnipiac struggled offensively in Thursday’s game the day before, mustering only four runs in the first game of the series. That was be the case on Friday, as the team delivered nicely at the plate, evening the weekend series at one game apiece.

Kevin Seitter got the nod today for the Bobcats and he shined bright. The right-hander worked six solid innings, surrendering four unearned runs on seven hits, two walks and five strikeouts.

In relief for Quinnipiac was left-hander Anthony Ambrosino, who pitched a near perfect three innings of work, with his only blemish coming off the bat of pinch hitter Phil Stahl. Stahl tagged a home run to left-center field with one out in the ninth inning, long after the game’s outcome had been decided.

However, the real story of the game was the Bobcats’ work on the offensive side of the ball. Quinnipiac started the scoring early, tallying two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Center fielder Jared Zimbardo led off the game with a single, and catcher Danny Melnick followed two batters later with a base hit of his own. Ian Ostberg laid down a perfect safety squeeze bunt, scoring Zimbardo and advancing Melnick to second, who would eventually score on a sacrifice fly from designated hitter Sean Swenson.

Monmouth retaliated quickly, however, taking the lead in the top of the second inning with four runs against Seitter. Back-to-back singles from first-baseman Jay Bant and catcher Brady Mutz gave the Hawks an immediate runner in scoring position. A third single off the bat of center fielder Jake Catalano would drive in the first Monmouth run of the game. It only got worse for Seitter from that point on as he walked right-fielder Colin McCreary to load the bases and then allowed a second run following an error from Bobcats’ second basemen Kyle Maves. A two-run single off the bat of short stop Dixon Black capped off a strong second inning for the Hawks, who were now in control of an early two-run lead.

After surrendering four runs in the top half of the inning, the Bobcats showed tremendous resiliency in the bottom half to retake the lead. With the first two batters going down quickly, a two out rally for the ages was about to ensue.

Maves started things off with a single to right field.

Melnick stepped up with a runner on and crushed a fastball over the left-field wall to tie the game, his second home run in the last two games. With the bases empty, Ostberg wasted no time giving the Bobcats the lead, blasting a solo shot over the right field fence for his second home run of the series as well.

Keeping the line moving, right-fielder Keegan O’Connor planted a single into left field. It was not long before he found home plate as well, with Swenson hitting another home run, the third home run in four Quinnipiac batters. Quinnipiac ended the second inning up three runs, after entering it down two.

Quinnipiac head coach John Delaney praised his team for their comeback ability in the second inning.

“You hear me talk about resiliency,” Delaney said. “All that happened, happened with two outs.”

With the bulk of the scoring out of the way after just two innings, the remaining seven proved to be smooth sailing for the Bobcats. Two runs in the fourth, sixth, and eighth innings cemented a big win for Quinnipiac, handing Monmouth their first loss in MAAC play this season.

“We have a real chance to win a series,” Delaney said. “To be able to not give in, show resiliency and even up the series… it’s important.”

For a game with such drastic momentum swings, Melnick noted that it was important not only to regain the momentum, but to keep hold of it for the game’s remainder.

“We changed the pace of the game,” Melnick said. “They had the momentum in that inning, but we took it over and kept control of it for the rest of the game.”

The Bobcats will wrap up their home series against Monmouth Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.