FLUSHING, N.Y. – Sophomore Nick Luciano drove in the game-winning run on a bunt single in the bottom of the ninth inning of game one, his second walk-off hit in the last two weeks, as the Queens College baseball team split a Saturday East Coast Conference (ECC) doubleheader against Mercy College at Hennekens Stadium.
Queens (12-18, 6-12 ECC) took the first game, 2-1, on Luciano's game-winner, while Mercy (10-21, 4-11 ECC) shut out the Knights, 2-0, in the second game.
In the first game, junior Billy Riches went 1-for-3 with an RBI for QC, while Luciano went 2-for-5, including the game-winning bunt to give the Knights a 2-1 victory.
Freshman pitcher Nick Morena kept the Mavericks quiet over the first seven innings, while the Knights got on the board first in the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore Andrew Navarez scored the game's first run in the sixth, as Riches hit an RBI sacrifice fly to left.
In the top of the eighth, Mercy tied the game up at one apiece, with John Young reaching on an error to score Nick Arcabascio.
It came down to the bottom of the ninth for Queens. With a runner on third, and the score tied, Luciano laid out a bunt that was just enough to allow sophomore Brian Watters to score the game-winning run for the Knights.
Morena (no decision) pitched a gem by allowing no runs, one hit and striking out nine batters in 7.0 innings. Freshman James McGee (2-0) earned his second win of the season after giving up just one unearned run and two hits, while striking out a pair over 2.0 innings of relief.
In the second game, junior Joseph Pidoto was perfect from the plate, going 2-for-2, while fellow classmate Karl Klesin went 1-for-3 with a stolen base (his fourth of the year). However, Mercy starter James Patterson pitched a shutout to give the Mavericks a 2-0 win.
Mercy scored early on an RBI double by Arcabascio in the first inning. The Mavericks added another insurance run in the sixth inning, as Anthony Murphy hit a solo shot to right center to make it 2-0. That was all Patterson (2-4) needed, allowing no runs and five hits over the seven-inning game, striking out three.
Junior Cameron Burt (0-3) had a quality start for Queens, allowing six hits, two runs (one earned) and striking out five batters in five innings of work. Meanwhile, seniors Kyle Bell and Yakov Trukhin combined for two shutout innings in relief.
The Knights will conclude their series with the Mavericks on Sunday, April 23, at noon.