FLUSHING, N.Y. – Led by a career day from sophomore Andrew Navarez and a complete game from freshman Nick Morena on the mound, the Queens College baseball team defeated the Lions of Molloy College for the second straight game, 7-2, in East Coast Conference (ECC) action Monday afternoon. The Knights improve to 9-13 (3-7 ECC), while the Lions moved to 11-18 (6-5 ECC).
Navarez registered a career-best four hits and matched his career high with three RBI, as he went 4-for-5 with a run, a triple and a stolen base. Morena (3-4) notched his second complete game of the season, giving up just two unearned runs and six hits, while striking out five.
The Lions started the game with back-to-back hits before Morena settled down to end the first inning with a punchout of Elijah Leerdam to escape without any damage. The Knights' bats continued their form in the second inning, as sophomore Brian Watters (1-for 3, RBI) doubled down the right field line to score senior Ryan Bender for the opening run. The next inning, Navarez produced a successful bunt to score fellow classmate Joel Mendez (1-for-2, 2 RBI, 2 R) to double the Knights' advantage (2-0) after three innings.
After a shaky first inning, Morena settled down to hold Molloy captive before a fielding error allowed the Lions to open their account with a Kevin Podell single to center field, scoring Jack McCarty to trim the lead to 2-1. Morena then induced Angelo Navetta to fly out to center field to end the fifth. Queens added insurance runs to help Morena's cause in the sixth, as Mendez singled up the middle to plate home junior Thomas Parish (1-for-4) and sophomore Nick Luciano (2-for-4) to extend the lead to 4-1.
In the seventh, the Lions looked to get back in the game, but an alert catcher in Bender caught McCarty trying to steal second, and then Morena ended the inning by catching Brian Murphy looking for a punchout. Navarez scored on a wild pitch in the seventh, and then applied the finishing touches for the Knights in the eighth, blasting a two RBI triple to left to score Mendez and junior Jonathan Temenak (2-for-4), as Queens gained a 7-1 lead after eight innings.
Morena came out for the ninth inning to finish off the job. The Lions added a run on a two-out error, but Morena got the final batter to hit a slow roller back to him, tossing it over to first for the final out. Anthony Catinella (2-6) pitched 5.1 innings for Molloy, allowing four earned runs on eight hits to take the loss.
The Knights finished their five-game season series against the Lions with a 2-3 mark.
Looking to keep the momentum going, the Knights will play host to the Mavericks of Mercy College (7-16, 1-6 ECC) at home on Wednesday, April 12, with first pitch set for 3 p.m.