Correira, Scafariello turn up as Quinnipiac sweeps Rider

Photo+Courtesy%3A+Liz+Flynn
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Correira, Scafariello turn up as Quinnipiac sweeps Rider

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn

Jacob Resnick

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During the top of the second inning in Monday’s series finale against Rider, Quinnipiac head coach John Delaney had a potentially game-changing decision to make.

His starting pitcher, right-hander Arthur Correira, had thrown 20 pitches in the frame and allowed two runs, which neutralized the lead that the Bobcats had secured in the bottom of the first.

With two outs, the bases loaded, and the conference’s best hitter, first baseman Riley Mihalik, coming to the plate, Delaney said he could have turned to his bullpen to sort out the mess.

He didn’t. And Correira — he came through.

Mihalik swung through strike three — the culmination of a six-pitch at-bat — and Correira pumped his fist and screamed “let’s go!” as he trotted off the mound.

After what ultimately became an aberration of an inning, Correira, a sophomore from Rehoboth, Massachusetts, was excellent. He faced just one over the minimum from the fourth through seventh and allowed nary another run in only his second outing over six innings this year.

His effort was more than enough for a Quinnipiac offense that exploded for 15 runs for the second time in the series, securing the sweep of the MAAC rival.

“He gets emotional and fiery, which is something [the team] feeds off of,” Delaney said of Correira. “I’m really proud of the way he rebounded after the second inning to give us some length.”

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn

If Correira is able to continue to work deep into his outings, the Bobcats are going to feel more confident about turning to their relievers at the ends of games. The bullpen corps hasn’t been dreadful, but they simply lack the experience that would allow Delaney to call upon it for five or six innings. Quinnipiac has only two full-time, upperclassman relief pitchers — senior Andrew Workman and junior Colin Donnelly.

“Having our starters give us length is a big piece in getting to use our bullpen the way we want to use it,” Delaney said.

As Quinnipiac’s pitching begins to come around — they’re allowing just over four runs per game in MAAC play, a comfortable number — the offense is as hot as ever. The team entered the weekend leading the conference with 214 runs scored and then proceeded to put up 38 more against Rider.

It’s no coincidence that the surge has occurred simultaneously with the reawakening of Liam Scafariello, the MAAC preseason player of the year, who slammed a pair of home runs on

Monday, the latter of which was career number 39 — tying him with Joe Zangari ’00 for the most in school history.

“It’s special, it really is,” Scafariello said. “It makes me appreciate the hard work I’ve put in. It’s just very humbling.”

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn

After a disappointing start to his senior season, Scafariello has turned up the heat since coming off the bench for the first time in his career on April 7 against Canisius. Over his last 28 at-bats, Scafariello is hitting .429 with four home runs and 13 walks, five more than he had drawn in his first 26 games.

“He seems to be seeing the ball better, putting better swings on the ball and swinging and missing much less,” Delaney said. “If you want to maximize your potential you have to be able to hit the fastball well, and that’s what he’s been doing a much better job of recently.”

It appears the Bobcats have gotten their third starter and most potent offensive weapon on a roll. If this weekend didn’t put the rest of the conference on notice, Quinnipiac has three more series — on the road against Iona and Fairfield and at home against Manhattan — to make sure their message gets across loud and clear.