Stepnoski Saves the Day with Two-Run Home Run in Ninth Inning of 3-2 Win for Baseball at Dominican

Stepnoski Saves the Day with Two-Run Home Run in Ninth Inning of 3-2 Win for Baseball at Dominican

POMONA, N.Y. (Mar. 27, 2018) - Playing their fifth game in three days at Palisades Credit Union Park in Pomona, Queens College right-fielder Matthew Stepnoski blasted a go-ahead two-run home run to lift the Knights to a 3-2 win over Dominican on Tuesday (Mar. 27).

Queens (8-10) starter Rob Backus threw seven and two-thirds innings of fantastic baseball for the Knights, surrendering two runs on five hits with five strikeouts. Dimitri Papazoglou (2-0) came on for the final four outs and picked up the win while Nicolas Bolanos (0-2) was saddled with the loss as Dominican fell to 2-15 on the year.

The two teams were held scoreless through the opening three innings of play before the Chargers got on the board first in the bottom of the fourth. A solo home run by Justin Decker down the left-field line put Dominican ahead by a run but the Knights answered back in the top of the fifth as Paulino Harrington singled with two outs to bring home Eloy Benson with the game's tying run. The hosts bounced back in the bottom of the sixth on a run-scoring single by Max Chidsey and the game remained a 2-1 contest until the ninth. 

In the top of the ninth, Preston Milano drew a lead-off walk and advanced to second on a Benson sacrifice bunt. After Bolanos struck out Thomas Parish, Stepnoski rocketed an offering from the Chargers' closer over the wall in left to put QC ahead by a run. Papazoglou got caught in a jam in the bottom of the ninth with runners on first and second and only one out, but the reliever induced a 1-6-3 double play off the bat of Will Dawson to end the game and quell the threat. 

Queens collected nine hits as a team with Benson, Harrington and Eric Roubal each accumulating two base-knocks. Stepnoski's two-run homer was his lone hit on the evening and Nick Luciano and Karl Klesin also struck for hits in the affair. The Knights will take to the road on Thursday (Mar. 29) for a 3 p.m. contest at Caldwell University.