FLUSHING, N.Y. – A trio of freshman pitchers combined to throw a shutout in the Queens College baseball team's 1-0 East Coast Conference (ECC) victory over Mercy College at Hennekens Stadium on Wednesday. The win for Queens (10-13, 4-7 ECC) was its third in a row, all coming in conference play, while Mercy dropped to 7-17 (1-7 ECC).
Freshmen Brandon Hoskins, James McGee and Rob Backus teamed up for the shutout on the mound for the Knights. McGee (1-0) picked up his first career win, tossing four clean innings of two-hit baseball with five strikeouts in relief. Hoskins got the start, allowing five hits over three scoreless innings, and Backus (Sv, 2) came in for the six-out save, giving up just one hit over the final two innings.
Mercy had an opportunity to do some damage in the third inning with runners on the corners and no outs, but Hoskins got John Mooradian to fly out to center, and sophomore Andrew Navarez gunned out the runner at the plate to prevent the run.
The Knights' offense was held to only four hits, but Queens tallied the only run that it would need in the fourth inning off the bat of junior catcher Billy Riches. After junior Joseph Pidoto walked, and sophomore Nick Luciano singled to right, Riches hit a deep drive to right that dropped past the right fielder, bringing Pidoto around to score on an errant throw.
That was all the Knights needed, as the trio of rookies shut down the Mavericks' offense. Mercy threatened again in the fifth inning with a man on third, but McGee caught the final batter looking to end the inning with a strikeout. Once more, the Mavericks had a golden opportunity to score in the eighth with the bases loaded with two outs, but Backus got Charles Fina to fly out to left to escape the inning. Backus then fired a 1-2-3 inning in the ninth to seal the shutout win.
Kenny Costa (1-6) took the tough-luck loss on the hill for Mercy despite allowing only one unearned run and four hits, while striking out six over eight innings. Sophomore Joel Mendez and junior Jonathan Temenak added the other two hits for Queens at the plate.
The Knights are right back at it on Thursday, April 13, at 3 p.m. for game two of a five-game series with ECC foe LIU Post.