SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. Va. (Mar. 10, 2018) – The Queens College baseball team exploded on offense in the first game of a Saturday (Mar. 10) doubleheader at Shepherd University with an Andrew Navarez grand slam lifting the Knights to a 13-7 victory over the Rams at Fairfax Field. The Knights' bats were quieted in the proverbial nightcap of the doubleheader as Shepherd came back to win a 4-1 contest.
Queens (2-6) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning as Kevin Kolesar did the damage with his bat and his wheels. With runners at second and third and two out, Kolesar singled up the middle to put Queens on the board against Shepherd (5-7) starter Colin Benner. The senior then made his way around the base-paths to score on a wild pitch as QC led by three runs. The Knights then scored two runs in the third with RBI base-knocks by Jonathan Temenak and Matthew Stepnoski putting Queens ahead by a 5-0 margin. The hosts got three runs back in the bottom of the fourth inning to cut the deficit to two runs but the Knights were not done offensively.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Knights sent nine batters to the plate and scored four runs. Brian Shannon started the frame with a double to left-center; Kolesar then drew a walk and pinch hitter Ron Linsalato was hit by a pitch to load the bases. After a fly-out that did not produce a run, Shannon was caught attempting to steal home for the second out of the inning. Sam Siegel stepped to the plate and drove home two runs with a single up the middle to put Queens ahead by a 9-3 score. Following Temenak reaching on an error and a walk issued to Louis Antos, Stepnoski singled down the left field line and brought home Siegel and Navarez---who pinch-ran for Temenak. The inning ended with a Brian Watters single, but Antos was thrown home trying to score from second.
Shepherd scored four runs in the bottom of the frame in the first four batters of the Rams' half-inning. Brenton Doyle hit a lead-off single and came home on an RBI triple by Nick Atkinson; Justin Smith doubled down the right-field line to bring home another run before Christian Hamel cracked a two-run home run to left field. Shepherd quietly finished the inning down by two runs, and the Knights had their big breakout moment in the top of the seventh inning. With Kolesar on first and two outs accounted for in the inning, Thomas Parish singled to left-center to advance the runner forward. Following a Siegel walk, Navarez smacked an offering from Rams reliever Adam Miller over the left-field wall for a grand slam to provide the final scoring margin.
Stepnoski went 3-for-4 with three runs batted in for the Knights while Shannon was also 3-for-4 in the game. Kolesar went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, as well. Cameron Burt pitched four-and-a-third innings of the seven-inning game, scattering three runs on six hits with three strikeouts to pick up his first win of the year. Michael Lamneck threw the final two and two-thirds innings and struck out three batters to pick up the save.
The Rams scratched two runs across in the first inning on QC starter Dylan Sabia to grab the early lead. Doyle doubled to right field to open the half-inning with Hamel being hit by a pitch a couple of batters later. With two outs, Dalton Haymaker reached base on an error as both runs scored to put the Rams ahead 2-0. Queens had a chance in the third inning after loading the bases on the strength of hits by Linsalato and Eloy Benson and a walk issued to Kolesar, but the Rams got out of the jam with a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play. Déjà vu occurred for the Knights in the fourth inning as walks issued to Siegel, Temenak and Stepnoski loaded the bases once again for QC. Shepherd starter Justin Smith once again worked his way out of trouble, and this time the Rams made Sabia pay with two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Knights' run came in the fifth inning on an RBI single by Paulino Harrington that scored Kolesar but that was the only offense that Queens mustered against Smith, who tossed a complete-game five-hitter. Sabia was charged with the loss after yielding four runs (two earned) and four hits over four innings of play with three strikeouts. Rob Backus tossed two scoreless innings of relief for Queens, as well.
The Knights will host Bloomfield on Wednesday (Mar. 14) at 3 p.m. at Hennekens Stadium.