Moskey’s big day propels Quinnipiac baseball to MAAC title game

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Moskey’s big day propels Quinnipiac baseball to MAAC title game

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn

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By: Jacob Resnick

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Faced with the youthful fifth-seeded Manhattan Jaspers, the second-seeded Quinnipiac Bobcats countered with experience.

The Bobcats rode five RBI from senior Brian Moskey to an 11-6 victory in the MAAC semifinal game on Saturday, advancing to a conference championship for the first time since 2005, when the university was a member of the Northeast Conference.

“We’ve worked so hard this year, even last year,” said the emotionally-spent Moskey, who could barely muster up the words to describe the feeling of winning between gasps for air. “Everything is lining up.”

After Quinnipiac fell behind 3-0 in the first inning, Moskey’s solo home run in the third tied the game.

“Our offense has been unbelievable all year, one through nine. I mean, our eight hitter leads the program in home runs,” Moskey said, referring to Liam Scafariello, whose blast to left field just two batters prior got the Bobcats on the board.

“If we’re down, we’re up, we’re tied, we just have so much confidence.”

Two innings later, Quinnipiac faced yet another three-run deficit. Moskey’s double brought home two while an Ian Ostberg single evened the score. In the sixth, with the bases loaded and the score knotted, Moskey came through once more, punching a ground ball through the left side of the infield for what became the game-winner.

“Talk about wanting the moment, that’s a kid that wanted the moment,” head coach John Delaney said.

The Jaspers, who were outscored by the Bobcats 31-6 during a three-game sweep in the final series of the regular season, came out of the gate as the more energized squad. Delaney, however, wasn’t surprised, and that preparedness was a key factor in swinging the momentum back in Quinnipiac’s favor.

“I explained to [our team] that’s how the game was going to go,” Delaney said. “You’re going to see [Manhattan’s] fire, they’re going to want some revenge against us, plus it’s a young squad with a lot of energy. We just had to limit the energy as much as we could and just focus on us.”

Out of a bullpen full of inexperience, it was the stalwarts who kept Quinnipiac in the game. After starter Chris Enns departed before recording an out in the fifth and freshman Matthew Draper allowed a run, junior Colin Donnelly and senior Andrew Workman combined for 3.2 scoreless innings to seal the game.

“We needed a zero on the board [in the sixth],” Delaney said. “If we gave them the lead back we probably would have lost the game. [Colin] did an awesome job out of the pen today.”

The majority of Manhattan’s roster, including MAAC first-team selections Matt Padre and Nick Cimillo, entered the weekend with no prior postseason experience. Having been in this environment before, losing to Monmouth in last year’s semifinal, Quinnipiac believes it knows what it will take to capture the title on Sunday.

“Last year when we came here, we thought we could win, but it was our first time on this stage,” Moskey said. “Being back here this year, we have that confidence, we realize we’re here for a reason. We’re here to win this thing.”