Friedman's gem wasted in 1-0 loss to Dowling
Brian Friedman held Dowling to one run and struck out nine in nine innings of work but lost, 1-0, in the Knights ECC opener on Friday afternoon in Flushing. Gabriel Duran fanned 14 Knights over eight innings to send QC to their third 1-0 loss in the last two weeks.
The Knights threaten to draw first blood in the bottom of the third but stranded two in scoring position. With one out, Wei Chang singled to center and Steve Varela followed with a base hit to right center, advancing Chang to third on the play. After Varela swiped third, Duran fanned David Fischer and Kurt Doerbecker to put out the fire.
Dowling almost broke the deadlock in the top of the fourth when Colin Barnathan singled to left, advanced to second on a wild pitch with one out and moved to third on a fielder's choice. Barnathan died on third when Knights shortstop Steve Varela ranged up the middle to smother a grounder and throw out Joe Candela at first.
Friedman's luck ran out in the next frame when her surrendered a lead off double to Taylor Bargiacchi over the outstretched glove of Doerbecker in left. Erik Cabrera sacrificed himself to advance Bargiacchi to third by grounding out to the right side and, with the infield in, Steve Morse grounded a single off of the glove of third baseman Wei Chang to score Bargiacchi with the only run of the game. Friedman avoided more trouble after a Varela throwing error and a stolen base put runners on second and third with one out by inducing a ground out and a pop up, both to second baseman Robert Bernardo.
Each club wasted one more good opportunity to score. Dowling mounted a two out rally in the seventh on a single and two Knights errors but Friedman retired Brian Ferguson on a ground ball to second to end the threat. In the eighth, Duran issued a one out walk to designated hitter Jesse Friedman. James Casella pinch ran for Friedman and stole second but was stranded there when Chang skied to right and Varela grounded out to third.
Buddy Cipoletti relieved Duran and, after going three and oh on the first hitter he faced, settled in to retire the side in order to earn the save for Dowling.