FLUSHING, N.Y. (May 6, 2018) - Following two losses to NYIT on Saturday (May 5) in Old Westbury, the Queens College baseball team defended home-field and closed the 2018 season on a high with a 9-8 comeback victory over the Bears at Hennekens Stadium on Sunday (May 6).
With the season-ending victory, Queens wraps up the 2018 campaign with a 16-27 overall record and a 5-19 mark in ECC play. NYIT finishes its first year in the East Coast Conference with a record of 13-25-1 and a 6-18 standing in conference competition.
Sam Siegel's two-run base hit and Matthew Stepnoski's two hits were the main point of offense for the Knights in the first game of Saturday's action, an 8-4 loss by Queens to NYIT. The Bears led 6-0 after six innings of play, knocking Dylan Hughes out of the contest in the fifth frame of play. Zach Kleinwaks had four RBIs and a home run for the hosts as well. In the second game of play, Stepnoski and Preston Milano homered for the Knights but Queens only mustered those two runs in a 3-2 loss to the Bears. Dennis Buckstein surrendered just four hits and three runs (one earned) while striking out five but took the loss.
NYIT opened the scoring and the proverbial floodgates in the top of the first inning with a four-run, two-out rally against QC starter Cameron Burt. After retiring Joey Fusco and Joseph Pesce on fly ball outs, six straight Bears reached base safely as Kleinwaks and Brendan Dowd collected RBI singles and Nick Tedesco singled home two more runs for the Bears in the top of the frame. Queens left Kevin Kolesar at third base in the bottom of the frame following a one-out triple, and the Bears scored two more runs on Burt in the top of the second inning as Ben McNeill scampered home on a failed pick-off attempt and Ryan Kuskowski doubled home NYIT's sixth run of the contest.
Burt would come out of the game in the top of the third inning following a base hit by Kleinwaks; that was the last hit for the Bears until a Kleinwaks single in the eighth inning as Brandon Hoskins twirled five no-hit innings to baffle the visiting offense while QC began to chip away at the deficit against NYIT starter D.J. Masuck. The Knights began the comeback in the bottom of the fourth inning as back-to-back singles by Eric Roubal and Karl Klesin put Queens in business with a one-out base hit by Ron Linsalato loading the bases. Pinch hitter Ronmel Ocampo singled home the Knights' first run of the game and Louis Antos drove a deep fly ball to center field for a sacrifice fly and an RBI. Three more runs came across the plate in the bottom of the sixth; Eloy Benson drew a lead-off walk and scored on a triple by Linsalato who then safely scored on a wild pitch. QC loaded the bases before Roubal was hit by a Joseph Murphy offering to bring the Knights within one run.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Kolesar and Siegel drew walks against Murphy and Chris Nappi before Stepnoski doubled home the tying run with a hit down the left field line. Ariel Taveras came in to pitch for the Bears and was rudely greeted on his first pitch thrown as Roubal clobbered a two-run double to left-center field to give the Knights their first lead at 8-6. Linsalato then slotted a two-out single through the right side of the infield to score Roubal and give QC a 9-6 lead. The Knights needed all of those runs from the eighth inning as NYIT rallied with two in the ninth on a fielder's choice and a Tedesco single. With two outs, Hoskins induced a fielder's choice off the bat of pinch hitter Dominic Paolo to end the contest.
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