FLUSHING, N.Y. – LIU Post scored the game-winning run in the ninth inning to defeat the Queens College baseball team, 6-5, in heartbreaking fashion on Wednesday at Hennekens Stadium. The Knights led, 5-4, heading into the eighth inning, but the Pioneers tallied two runs over the final two innings to amount the comeback victory.
The Pioneers improve to 12-11 overall and 4-2 in the East Coast Conference (ECC), while Queens falls to 7-11 overall and 1-5 in ECC play.
Sophomore Nick Luciano went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run, while fellow classmate Andrew Naverez was 2-for-4 with a double and a pair of runs.
Things did not look good for the Knights in the opening frame, as freshman starter Rob Backus got off to a shaky start, with the Pioneers quickly loading the bases with no outs. LIU Post scored three runs on a hit by pitch, a walk and another hit by pitch, all with the bases loaded. Backus managed to avoid even more trouble by getting an inning-ending double play, as the Pioneers left the bases full.
Queens pulled within striking distance in the bottom of the second, chalking up two runs on three hits. Senior Joe Morris was hit by a pitch, Navarez bunted his way to a single, and junior Billy Riches followed with a single to load the bases. Luciano then smacked a two-out, two-run single to right center to bring the Knights within one at 3-2.
Backus settled down after the first, allowing only one baserunner over the next three innings before LIU Post took a 4-2 lead with a run in the top of the fifth. Queens had an answer in the bottom half of the inning, as the Knights accounted for two runs on four hits. Luciano and junior Thomas Parish singled, and then sophomore Joel Mendez laid down an RBI bunt to score Luciano to cut the deficit to just one. The next batter, junior Jonathan Temenak, then laced an RBI single to right to score Parish, tying the game at four all.
The Knights weren't finished just yet, as they kept the momentum rolling into the sixth inning, where they would take their first lead of the game. Navarez doubled down the left field line and later advanced to third on a throwing error with one out. After Riches walked, freshman Louis Antos brought in Navarez on an RBI fielder's choice, as Queens took a 5-4 lead.
However, in the eighth inning, Sal Geraci hit an RBI single to right for LIU Post to tie the game once again at 5-5. Then in the top of the ninth, Rob Andreoli scored what turned out to be the game-winning run for the Pioneers with two outs, as Dave Brehm reached on a throwing error. Queens had a chance in the bottom of the ninth with two on and one out, but Dan Jagiello struck out the final two batters to seal the win for LIU Post.
Mendez went 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI, while Temenak went 2-for-5 with an RBI. Joe Piscitelli went 3-for-4 for LIU Post, and Jagiello captured the win after striking out four over the final two innings.
Queens will now begin a four-game series with ECC opponent Molloy College, starting with a 3 p.m. contest at home on Friday, April 7.