Hot bats in Hamden propel Quinnipiac to convincing 24-10 win over Iona

Connor Coar

Who says Quinnipiac doesn’t have a football team?

The Quinnipiac men’s baseball team did their best impression of a Friday night high school football score which included all of the lights that may or may not be watching overtop of the baseball diamond. Led by five hits from first baseman Sebastian Meuller, the Bobcats defeated the Iona Gaels by a score of 24-10. 

On a day that saw the temperature outside get up into the high 80s, Quinnipiac was making sure that the heat of the sun wouldn’t become a disadvantage but instead put the heat on Iona’s defense as they put 19 balls into play; their second most this season. 

“I think the wind definitely helped a little bit,” Meuller said with a chuckle. “I don’t think I’ve scored 20 runs in a game since like little league. So that was cool.”

Meuller, a Pottersville, New Jersey native opened up the weekend series batting five-for-six which included five RBIs and a home run to open up the weekend. A big key to Meuller’s success over the past four games has been his ability to understand what pitches are being thrown at him. 

“He’s just doing a good job being on time with his pitches that he can handle,” head coach John Delaney noted after the game. “He has also understood a little bit more recently on what pitches and how he is getting pitched. So he’s been able to maximize them.”

To prove that, heading into the previous weekend’s series against Niagara, Meuller had been getting under a hit a game at 0.96. Since the trek up to Buffalo, he has averaged 2.25 hits per game. 

“I noticed for me like when I struggle more, it’s because I’m not on top of the pitches I’m looking for and then you’re down two [strikes] and then you got to battle.”

Through the first two innings, the Bobcats came out hot and scored eight runs off of six hits, which included Meuller’s three-run homer to center field to give the Bobcats a 7-0 lead. 

One fan asked another after Meuller’s home run: “Did that ball come down yet?”

Quinnipiac consistently put balls into play and averaged just under two and a half hits per inning to keep runners on base. 

The Iona Gaels used seven different pitchers on the bump but thanks to strong scouting and knowing how to adjust to different tendencies of pitchers, the Bobcats were able to adapt with ease. 

“A lot of these guys are two-pitch guys,” senior outfielder Anthony Donofrio said. “Toward the back half of the game, the bullpen guys got two pitches and they know how to work the zone well.”

Donofrio wasn’t being fooled with the pitches being thrown at him on Friday, trotting around the bases twice to bring in four runs off of two hits in the game. 

Every member of the lineup touched down on home plate en route to the 24-run win, scoring the second most since the team scored 28 runs against St. Peter’s all the way back on March 31, 2018. 

Graduate student Kyle Maeves tried making his case for the interception leader in the NFL when he stole three bases for the 15th game this season. His 16th total on the year has him tied for second in the MAAC in steals, only behind Tierney Aiden of Mount St. Mary’s College with 18 to his name. 

While the team won in convincing fashion on paper, the Gaels compiled 16 hits in the afternoon and scored more than one run from the third to the seventh inning and gave some Hamden natives a little stress heading into the later parts of the game. 

The closest part of the game was 8-4 in favor of Quinnipiac in the bottom of the third frame. Iona was consistently getting hits but was never quite able to find a home when it mattered most. The Gaels left nine runners on base. 

Delaney wasn’t thrilled with how the pitching was in today’s game, getting behind in counts while trying to work around not having senior pitcher Jimmy Hagan available in the lineup. 

“We got to be able to command the baseball way better than we did.” Delaney said. “We allowed them [Iona] to be a better offensive team than believed to be and kept them in the game longer.”

The Gaels currently sit fourth from the bottom in the MAAC conference, with a record of 2-5 and 6-24 overall. 

With the pitching continuing for the Bobcats, the offensive production will have to continue on a quick turnaround against the same Gaels impending any weather on Saturday and Sunday.