In this final weekend of regular season MAAC baseball, all the schools in the conference are battling for position in the MAAC Championship.
The raging hot Marist team entered Quinnipiac on a five-game winning streak. However, the Bobcats, who have struggled all season, refused to let the Red Foxes continue their recent run, winning game one 5-1.
Missed opportunities plagued the Marist bats throughout the first game. In just a seven inning game, the Red Foxes left 11 runners on base. For a team that has been thriving with runners in scoring position all season, it was quite uncharacteristic of them to only have one run cross the plate.
“We just never really got into a rhythm offensively. And consequently, we should take advantage of those situations,” head coach Chris Tracz said.
The Red Foxes had baserunners all game, though they failed to convert on their scoring opportunities because of Quinnipiac senior Arthur Correira. The starter was on point in clutch situations, despite having his afternoon littered with baserunners. Correira had to work hard all-day – throwing an astoundingly high 136 pitches – but impressively finished the game with seven strong innings of one-run baseball.
“He [Correiera] had control of the game. Even when we had some threads going, we really weren’t able to change up his rhythm,” Tracz said.
Senior Alex Pansini started for Marist, allowing five runs in six innings. His complete game helped preserve the bullpen, but with the Red Foxes offense going cold, Pansini’s performance was just not enough for Marist to overcome Quinnipiac in game one.
The Bobcats handled Marist fairly easily in game one, but the Red Foxes rebounded strong in game two, with a commanding 12-4 victory.
While Marist barely scratched across any runs in the first game, the Red Foxes were able to strike first in game two. Graduate student Brian Picone drove in the first run of the game with a fourth inning RBI double. After advancing to third on a bunt, the first baseman was able to score on a wild pitch. Picone was a major catalyst in stimulating the offense throughout the second game.
“He [Picone] really kind of sparked us when we needed it. And he’s done that all year since he’s been back from the pulled hamstring earlier in the year,” Tracz said.
Junior Ryan Cordona took the mound in game two and provided Marist with an outstanding start. It took all the way until the fifth inning for Quinnipiac to finally get a hit – Cordona’s final stat line was seven innings pitched, two earned runs and only one hit allowed.
“He [Cordona] really did a nice job of keeping their offense at bay – he spotted his fastball well, landed some good breaking balls, but more than anything he got some early contact outs,” Tracz said.
After breaking the ice in the fourth inning, the Marist offense went into full attack mode in the sixth inning, putting up a six-spot. The Red Foxes have been phenomenal at putting together these kinds of innings all season and Friday was just another example of their potential.
“We’ve just done a really good job in the shortened season of taking advantage of the momentum,” Tracz said.
Redshirt senior Matt Rubayo was a huge offensive catalyst in game two and he may be the hottest hitter in the MAAC right now. After a two-home run game this past Wednesday, the outfielder once again flexed his power with another multiple home run performance in game two – breaking the game open in the sixth and securing it in the eighth.
“He [Rubayo] stayed tough and put two great swings on when we needed it to extend the game,” Tracz said.
Marist improves to 16-8 after splitting Friday’s doubleheader. Tomorrow, the Red Foxes will play their regular season finale against Quinnipiac in another doubleheader at home.
Edited by Nick Stanziale
Photo from Marist College Athletics