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Offense shines as Quinnipiac splits Saturday doubleheader with Canisius

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

By: Matt Halpin

The Quinnipiac baseball team took on the Canisius Golden Griffins on Saturday, splitting the first two games of the series in what was an offensive battle.

The Bobcats came into the series sitting at 8th in the MAAC with a 14-25 record (7-8 MAAC), while the Golden Griffins entered at 24-16 (7-5 MAAC).

Canisius won the first game, scoring four runs in the first inning.

Junior Chris Enns had a slow start to the game on the mound, allowing the Golden Griffins to take advantage. Enns gave up four runs on five hits in the opening frame, and was pulled immediately after finishing the half inning.

It took the Bobcats three innings to dig out of the hole Enns created, starting with a Liam Scafariello two-run home run. Scafariello brought his total to 15 home runs so far this season, good for second in a single season in Quinnipiac history.

“When you have a legit power hitter like him, it’s a huge change for pitchers to make to face them,” Quinnipiac Coach John Delaney said. “If we have a few players on base and he comes up, it’s a huge chance to drive in a few runs.”

Despite a second two run homer off the bat of Scafariello, the Bobcats would unsuccessfully exhaust their pitching options.

Quinnipiac used six pitchers throughout the nine innings, and struggled to put up any more offensive production, eventually losing game one by a score of 10-4. However the second game was a completely different story.

After giving up a run off a sacrifice fly in the top of the first inning, Quinnipiac exploded offensively. The Bobcats scored five runs in the bottom half of the inning.

“Coming into the series what we talked about all week was focusing on game one and when we got to game two to focus on that,” Delaney said. “We had a slow start in game one so coming out swinging in game two is what we really wanted.”

The Quinnipiac offensive surge began with a grand slam from established power-hitting first baseman Ben Gibson.

Gibson’s grand slam marked his first home run of the season, and set the tone for another home run by senior Matthew Batten in the second inning.

From there, the Bobcats defended their 7-1 lead.

Canisius went on to score three more runs against Quinnipiac’s starting pitcher Taylor Luciani, but the Bobcats held on. Junior closer Mike Davis earned his seventh save of the season, as Quinnipiac won game two by a final score of 7-4.

The Bobcats will play host to the Central Connecticut State University Blue Devils on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

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