On senior day the 16-8 Marist Red Foxes hosted MAAC rival Quinnipiac to try and improve their seeding implications for next week’s MAAC conference tournament. Marist went on to split with Quinnipiac, winning in the first game 9-4 and coming up short in the second game 9-11.
In game one the Red Foxes wasted no time getting runs by starting off the second inning getting three consecutive men on base. Graduate student infielder Ben McNeill hit an RBI single to put the Red Foxes up 1-0. Sophomore shortstop Dylan Hoy grounded into a fielder’s choice which drove in another run. Then, graduate student infielder Tyler Kapuscinski hit a single which gave Marist a 3-0 lead.
Marist kept putting pressure on Quinnipiac’s pitcher Brayden Garcia. With two men on base, senior outfielder Robbie Armitage hit a deep fly ball which allowed graduate student Brian Picone to score which brought the Marist lead to 4-0.
Red Fox junior pitcher Erubial Candelario was shutting down the Bobcats offense until the third inning. The Bobcats strung together a few hits in a row and they ended up getting one run in the inning off a sacrifice fly from graduate student Evan Vulgamore to cut the Marist lead 4-1.
The Red Foxes kept adding to the lead, two hits and a walk loaded the bases for Picone who grounded into a double play but one run was able to score. The inning stalled out as the Red Foxes led 5-1 after four innings. The Red Foxes loaded the bases once again in the top of the fifth inning and sophomore infielder Dylan Hoy hit a sac fly to give the Red Foxes a 6-1 lead.
The top of the sixth for the Red Foxes was eventful, adding three more runs in the inning courtesy of a two-run double by Robbie Armitage and after him a single by junior outfielder Brian Hart. The Red Foxes led 9-1 after six innings. Quinnipiac ended up adding three runs in the final inning but the Red Foxes were victorious at a score of 9-4 in game one.
In game two Quinnipiac led 1-0 until the top of the third when Marist answered the Bobcats call. Robbie Armitage hit a single to left, Picone walked, and redshirt senior outfielder Matt Rubayo smacked a single to right field to even up the game at 1-1. A balk by Bobcats freshman pitcher Tate Copeland allowed Picone to score to give Marist a 2-1 lead.
Quinnipiac tied the game at two in the fourth inning. Marist came to the plate in the fifth inning and Hart crushed a two-run home run to right-center to put the Red Foxes back in front at 4-2.
Marist’s pitching and defense collapsed in the bottom of the fifth inning. Two errors led to two Bobcats on base, as senior infielder Ian Ostberg then hit a two-run double to tie the game. A run was then walked in with the bases loaded to give Quinnipiac a one-run lead. Quinnipiac still had the bases loaded for graduate student Dylan Lutz, who hit a bases-clearing triple to give Quinnipiac a cushion at an 8-4 lead. Quinnipiac added one more run in the inning and left with a 9-4 lead.
“We stacked errors on top of each other and two defensive plays to get out. We didn’t throw enough strikes. We did not execute anything in that inning at all,” said head coach Chris Tracz.
The Red Foxes chipped away with a run in the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh, they didn’t quit, as they loaded the bases for graduate student infielder Tyler Kapuscinski who ended up doubling to left field to drive in all three runners to make it a one-run game. Robbie Armitage tripled in Kapuscinski to tie the game at nine apiece. Quinnipiac came right back and scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to take an 11-9 lead.
No runs were scored after the seventh inning and the Red Foxes lost 11-9. Marist split the afternoon doubleheader and finished the regular season at 17-9 while the Bobcats finished 6-22. Marist secured a top six seed and will look forward to the MAAC tournament next weekend.
“We’re in the tournament next week and we wanted to continue to play well and finish the regular season strong. We didn’t know if we would have a full season because of COVID and now we have an opportunity to play for the conference championship so we’re really excited about next week,” said Tracz.
Edited by Bridget Reilly
Photo Credit: Marist Athletics