FLUSHING, N.Y. – Sophomore Brian Watters must have been taking notes on classmate Nick Luciano's game-winning bunt against Molloy College earlier in the week, as he followed suit to deliver a successful bunt to first base to hand the Queens College baseball team a 4-3 walk-off in game one. The Knights won game one, 4-3, in 12 innings before faltering in game two, 12-3, against LIU Post in East Coast Conference (ECC) action Saturday afternoon. With the split, the Knights moved to 11-15 (5-9 ECC), while the Pioneers improved to 16-14 (8-5 ECC).
In the top of the second inning, the Pioneers jumped on the board quickly, as Anthony Vaglica homered to give LIU Post a 1-0 lead. Dave Brehm singled to left center before a Thomas Asbaty sacrifice fly out to right field plated Brehm home for a 2-0 lead.
Queens answered back in the bottom of the third, as freshman Louis Antos (1-for-3, R) singled up the middle to start the inning before advancing to second base following a sacrifice bunt from senior Ryan Bender. Following a walk to junior Thomas Parish (1-for-4, R, BB), sophomore Joel Mendez (1-for-4, RBI, R) singled to right field to score Antos. Next batter, junior Jonathan Temenak (RBI) reached on a fielding error, giving Parish enough space to knot the game at two. Following a base hit to the load the bases, sophomore Andrew Navarez reached on a fielder choice, allowing Mendez to plate home for a 3-2 lead. Pioneers ace Jake DeCarli got junior Joseph Pidoto (1-for-5) to fly out to center field to leave two on base to escape from any further damage.
After a shaky second inning, Knights starter Cameron Burt settled down to limit the Pioneers bats, while striking out eight on five hits allowed and two earned runs to earn a no-decision on the day. In the top of the eighth inning, freshman James McGee got Jimmy Mendyk looking for the second out, but an error allowed the tying run to plate home. With DeCarli still pitching strong into the ninth inning, Luciano singled to right field to start a one-out rally, but DeCarli had other ideas, as he got junior Billy Riches grounding into a double play to send the game into extra innings.
In the bottom of the 12th inning, Luciano reached first on a fielder's choice before advancing to third following a single from Riches. Next batter, Watters executed a bunt to first base to plate home Luciano for the game-winning run, as the Knights took game one, 3-2. In extras, freshman Rob Backus (3-0) shut down the Pioneers' bats while striking out three to earn the win.
Hoping to keep their momentum from game one, the Knights were instead plagued by fielding errors in game two. The Pioneers took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. The Knights responded right away, as Temenak grounded into a double play, but not before classmate Paulino Harrington plated home to put the Knights on board.
However, the Pioneers took game two away from the Knights with a big five-run inning in the top of the fifth to take an 8-1 lead before adding another four runs in the next two innings. Brian Kavanagh (2-0) kept the Knights' bats quiet, as he limited QC to five hits and three earned runs and Queens' offense had no answer in game two in a 12-3 loss.
The Knights will conclude their season series with the Pioneers on Monday, April 17, at 3 p.m. in Brookville, N.Y. from LIU Post Baseball Field.