The Long Island University Blackbirds continued to keep pace with Monmouth University for first place in the Northeast Conference standings. LIU is now 12-4 in Northeast Conference play after 16 games and 20-13 overall on the season. On a week where the 70′s mustache made a return to the Blacbirds dugout, LIU swept a four game NEC set with Quinnipiac, in exciting fasion.
Strong pitching, clutch hitting and perfectly groomed mustache’s (pictures to follow), were all on hand during our weekend sweep of Quinnipiac.
Game 1 featured a dominating performance by Sophomoreg RHP Chris Franzese (3-0 NEC with 2.13 ERA). Chris went 8 2/3 IP allowing 7 hits, 1 ER with 0 BB and 8K’s. Evan Zerff picked up his 10th Save of the year in a 5-1 victory.
Game 2 the Blackbirds received another dominating performance by Sophomore RHP Justin Topa. Topa threw a tidy CG 7 hitter with 0 BB 0 ER and 7K’s. Topa needed just 86 pitches to shut down the Bobcats. The final score was 8-2.
Game 3 saw Sophomore LHP Matt McCormick continue his strong start to the NEC campaign (4-0 2.13 ERA in 4 NEC starts). McCormick went 6 strong, allowing 1 ER. Evan Zerff pitched the 7th inning in the 5-1 victory.
Game 4 saw a see-saw battle between the feisty Bobcats and the Blackbirds. LIU starter Brad Reimer got little support in the first inning (2 Unearned Runs) as QU jumped out to a 3-0 lead. We came right back in the bottom of the first scoring 2 runs on a 2 out hit by Julian Castro (NEC Player of the Week). The game went back and forth until we finally broke through to go ahead 8-6 on a two run double by Freshman sensation Peter Leonello. Evan Zerff entered the game in the top of the 8th and gave up an uncostumary 3 runs to QU and a 9-8 lead. Our guys came right back and scored two runs in the bottom of the 8th to go back up 10-9. Evan then did what he does best, shut down the opposition. He pitched a near flawless 9th inning to improve his record to 3-0 (10 saves).
Offensively we had a few standouts on the weekend. SS Drew Walsh, C Tyler Jones, RF Julian Castro, LF Peter Leonello and CF Sam Sciamarelli all contributed big hits on the weekend. 2B Brad Greve just continued to amaze us with his clutch play as well offensively laying down one of the best bunts I have ever seen with a 1-2 count and 2 out. It completely changed the momentum of the game and afforded Leonello an opportunity to drive in the 2 runs we needed.
Next up for us is a trip to Rhode Island to play the Bryant Bulldogs in a 4 game NEC series. With this being Easter week, we will play Thursday, Friday and Saturday as opposed to our normal Friday-Sunda Schedule. Bryant has been playing good baseball in the NEC of late and we are looking forward again to getting on the road to play a tough opponent.