Bats stay hot as Bobcats bash their way to 11-4 win

Zachary Carter

After scoring 46 runs in three games against Iona last weekend, the Bobcats’ bats roared back to life Wednesday to bash 11 more runs as they took down cross-town rival Yale Bulldogs 11-4. 

Each team’s respective coach opted not to send out a traditional starter for the game, instead taking a bullpen day to work in more guys off the bench which allowed players to tune up their mechanics and see live hitting before the two teams split for their individual weekend series in the coming days.

Bobcats head coach John Delaney selected sophomore right-handed pitcher Mason Ulsh to toe the rubber for Quinnipiac to begin the game. Ulsh was one of seven pitchers to take the mound for Quinnipiac throughout the nine innings of play, with the seven pitchers combining for just four total runs, only three of which were earned. 

Throughout the opening innings, it seemed this game would remain a low-scoring affair. The game was scoreless through the first four innings, but Yale would soon jump on top of Quinnipiac 1-0 in the fifth, only to tack on two more runs in the sixth to lead the Bobcats two-thirds of the way through. 

In the bottom of the sixth inning, junior left-fielder Jared Zimbardo would turn on a fastball from senior right-hander Quinn Cleary, launching a home run over the left field fence to trim the Bulldogs’ lead to just two. 

Zimbardo’s four-bagger would spark a Quinnipiac rally that would eventually change the Bobcats’ deficit of three runs into a lead of two runs. By the end of the sixth inning, the Bobcats led 5-3. Highlights from the inning include a run batted in double from graduate student and second baseman Kyle Maves, a two-RBI single from junior catcher Keegan O’Connor, and an RBI single from first-year right-fielder John Heitzman. 

Yale would respond with one run of their own in the eighth inning which cut Quinnipiac’s lead to one, but the Bobcats would again explode in the bottom half of the frame to put the game way out of reach, a sacrifice fly from Heitzman with the bases loaded and nobody out would kick off the scoring in an inning where the Bobcats plated six runs. 

Senior left-fielder Matt Teosriero doubled to right field for an RBI of his own which moved redshirt junior Sean Swenson to third base. Zimbardo hit a sacrifice fly, promptly scoring Swenson and advancing Tesoriero to third base, who would later score on a wild pitch. Two batters later, junior first baseman Sebastian Mueller stepped up with a runner on base and clobbered a two-run home run to the opposite field, capping off Quinnipiac’s six-run eighth inning. In the ninth, right-hander Sam Favieri shut the door and finished off the Bulldogs 11-4. 

Quinnipiac battled through adversity in this contest, going down early 3-0, but surged back to win by seven runs. This lineup understands that maintaining offensive pressure is one of the most important keys to a successful season. 

“You can hit your way out of anything,” Mueller said. “If we keep doing our jobs as hitters we’re gonna keep rolling down the stretch.” 

It is often said that defense and pitching will win games, and the offense will follow naturally. For many Quinnipiac hitters, they understand the power that a single swing holds – the ability to spark a big-time rally. 

“You just need one hit or one good swing to make the whole entire offense come alive,” Zimbardo said. “That’s why it’s really important to keep trusting the approach at the plate.” 

As for Quinnipiac’s pitching staff today, Delaney was very impressed with the way that his guys were able to build off of one another, working collectively to stifle a very dangerous Yale lineup. 

“Our bullpen has always been our strongest piece,” Delaney said. 

Quinnipiac will begin their next series against the defending MAAC champions, the Canisius Golden Griffins this weekend in New York and keep their momentum trending in the right direction. The first pitch in Buffalo is scheduled for Friday at 3 p.m. on April 21.