Bats Come Alive, But Molloy Holds Off Baseball

Bats Come Alive, But Molloy Holds Off Baseball

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Even though the Queens College baseball team racked up 21 runs in Saturday's doubleheader at Molloy College, it was not enough, as the Lions held off the Knights in a pair of East Coast Conference (ECC) contests. Queens (7-13, 1-7 ECC) was outslugged in game one, 18-13, before Molloy (11-16, 6-3 ECC) edged out a 10-9 win in eight innings in the second game.

There was plenty of offense to go around in the opening game, as the two teams combined for 31 runs on 24 hits. Unfortunately for Queens, Molloy's offense was firing early and often, and it was too much to overcome. The majority of the damage was done in the third inning, with the Lions racking up 13 runs. 

Queens took command early on, scoring the first four runs of the game over the first two innings. With the bases loaded, junior Thomas Parish scored the game's first run when classmate Joseph Pidoto reached on a fielder's choice. Then sophomore Andrew Navarez was hit by a pitch with the bases still full, bringing in junior Jonathan Temenak for the early 2-0 lead.

In the second, sophomore Joel Mendez reeled off an RBI double to left before Temenak drove in Parish on a sacrifice fly to center, handing the Knights a 4-0 advantage. The Lions got on the board in the bottom half of the inning on a single and an error, as the lead was cut to just two going into the third.

That's where things went south very quickly for the Knights. The Lions tallied 13 runs on nine hits in the third inning alone. Molloy shook up reigning ECC Pitcher of the Week Joseph Broderick (3-3), forcing an early exit after scoring 10 runs (nine earned) off of the Knights' starter over 2.1 innings. Facing a steep 15-4 deficit, the Knights chipped away at the lead in the fourth, as Temenak hit an RBI single, and junior Paulino Harrington hit a sacrifice fly. However, Elijah Leerdam cranked a two-run homer to left center to extend the lead to 11 once more, 17-6.

Queens made things interesting in the sixth and seventh innings, tallying seven runs to come within five. Temenak and Pidoto each hit RBI singles, followed by a two-run double by Harrington, and then senior Ryan Bender hit a sacrifice fly to make it 17-11 midway through the sixth inning. Molloy added a run in the bottom of the sixth on a solo shot by Michael Rahn before Queens struck for two more in the seventh. Mendez hit an RBI single and later scored on a Temenak triple to right center, bringing Queens within five at 18-13. That was as close as the Knights could get, as Molloy captured the win.

Temenak went 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs to lead the Knights. Parish scored five runs and drew four walks, while Pidoto drove in a pair. Harring was 2-for-4 with three RBI, and Mendez went 2-for-2 with four walks, two RBI and two runs.

The second game was a true battle, as the teams went back-and-forth throughout before the Knights ultimately suffered another heartbreaking one-run loss. With a one-run lead in the seventh, Queens let up the tying run with two outs, and then Molloy scored the game-winning run in the eighth. 

Queens opened up a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, with senior Joe Morris ripping a two-run double to left and then scoring on an RBI single hit by junior Billy Riches. The Lions added a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead to one before Rahn hit a three-run double down the left field line to give Molloy a 5-3 lead in the second inning. The following inning, the Lions would add on to the lead with three more runs, bringing the score to 8-3.

The Knights got back on track in the fifth, going off for five runs on five hits. Navarez started the scoring with an RBI double, and then Riches and freshman Louis Antos each recorded RBI singles to bring the Knights within two. Then with two outs, sophomore Brian Watters hit an RBI single, and Pidoto scored on an error to tie the game up at 8-8.

Queens not only overcame the five-run deficit to tie the contest in the fifth, but the Knights regained the lead in the seventh. Parish drove in Pidoto with an RBI single through the left side, giving the Knights a 9-8 lead. However, Molloy scored the tying run in the bottom of the inning on a passed ball. Then in the eighth, Jake Saltzman drove in Kevin Podell on a single to win the game for the Lions.

Parish went 3-for-5 with two RBI, while Morris was 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs. Riches, Antos and Watters each went 2-for-4 as well for the Knights.

Queens is right back at it on Sunday, April 9, for the third game of a four-game series with Molloy at 12 p.m. at Hennekens Stadium.