MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The Queens College baseball team opened its 2017 season on Thursday night, falling just short to the University of New Haven, 5-4, despite rallying for three runs late. The Knights came back from an early deficit to pull within one run after the eighth inning, but the Chargers slammed the door in the ninth.
Junior Karl Klesin smacked a solo home run for Queens, the fourth long ball of his career. Freshman Louis Antos began his career as a Knight by going 2-for-4 with an RBI double, while senior Joe Morris also went 2-for-4 on the night.
New Haven got on the board quickly on a two-out RBI double by Nick Perrelli in the top of the first. Charger pitcher David Palmer kept the Knights' bats quiet until Morris came through with a single in the third inning, but Palmer got out of the inning.
The Knights' first run of the season came in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Klesin belted a solo shot to even the score at 1-1. The Chargers regained the advantage the very next inning, however, on a single and double steal with two outs. New Haven added to its lead in the seventh to take command, 4-1, but Queens wasn't down for the count just yet.
Queens chipped away at the lead with a run in the bottom of the seventh, as sophomore Andrew Navarez drew a walk and was driven home on a two-out double by junior Joseph Pidoto. The Chargers added an insurance run in the eighth before the Knights rallied for a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. Sophomore Joel Mendez got things going with a one-out double, and two batters later, junior Jonathan Temenak drove Mendez in with an RBI single. Temenak then came around to score on a two-out double by Antos in the very next at-bat, bringing the Knights within one at 5-4.
Senior Ryan Bender kept the Knights alive with a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth, but Kellen Croce struck out the final batter to seal the win for the Chargers.
Senior Joseph Broderick took the mound for Queens, striking out eight while allowing three runs over six innings of work.
The Knights will continue their Myrtle Beach trip on Friday, Feb. 24, for a doubleheader against No. 12 Franklin Pierce University, the defending NCAA East Regional Champion. The first game is set to begin at 3 p.m.