Seventh-Inning Woes Doom Knights in ECC Opener

Seventh-Inning Woes Doom Knights in ECC Opener

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Despite holding a 3-1 lead after six innings, the Queens College baseball team surrendered nine runs in the seventh inning, leading to a 10-4 setback to Molloy College in Saturday's East Coast Conference (ECC) opener. The Knights drop to 6-6 (0-1 ECC), while the Lions improve to 4-13 (1-0 ECC).

Queens struck first in the game, as sophomore Andrew Navarez scored the game's first run in the top of the second. Knights' starting pitcher Nick Morena kept the Lions off the board for the first four innings, giving up just two hits over that stretch. Queens added to its lead in the top of the fifth when freshman Louis Antos crossed the plate on a fielder's choice hit by junior Thomas Parish, giving the Knights a 2-0 advantage.

Molloy finally got on the board with two outs in the bottom of the fifth due to an error, but Queens quickly tallied its third run in the top of the sixth. Senior Joe Morris drew a bases-loaded walk to bring in junior Joseph Pidoto, as the Knights held a two-run lead heading to the bottom of the seventh.

That's when things went south for the Knights. The Lions tallied nine runs on nine hits and an error in the bottom of the seventh to suddenly take a commanding 10-3 lead just like that. Jack McCarty and Brian Murphy each recorded multiple hits in the inning, as the Lions brought 14 batters to the plate in the seventh alone.

Pidoto knocked in sophomore Joel Mendez on an RBI single in the top of the ninth, but the Knights left two runners on base, and the hole was too deep to overcome.

The Knights managed 10 hits in the game, but the Lions racked up 16 on the other side. Pidoto led Queens, going 2-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored and a walk. Meanwhile, junior Billy Riches also went 2-for-4 with a double and a triple. Morena (2-2) was dealt his second loss in a row after giving up eight hits and four runs (two earned) over six-plus innings.

Queens will travel to Felician on Sunday, March 26, for a 1 p.m. non-conference contest.