The University of Bridgeport baseball team stayed alive in the 2016 NCAA Division II East Regional being hosted by Franklin Pierce University at Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field with a 7-6 elimination game victory over follow East Coast Conference member, Dowling College.
Coach Joe Tonelli’s fifth-seeded Purple Knights, who are now 28-23-1 overall, move on to face the second-seeded Penmen of Southern New Hampshire University at 12 p.m. on Sunday in another elimination game. The Golden Lions, the 2016 East Coast Conference Champions, close out their season at 28-25.
Bridgeport’s Anthony Alicki (Milford) picked up the win for the Purple Knights to raise his season record to 4-5. Alicki worked 7.2 strong innings in which he allowed only two hits with six strikeouts and four walks allowing four runs. John Parisi (5-5) took the loss for Dowling.
The Purple Knights jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning sending eight batters to the plate, as juniors Tyler Gambardella (West Haven) and Casey Ouellette (New Canaan), each drove in runs with singles, and sophomore Ben Torres (Hollywood, Fla.) knocked in a pair of runs with a single up the middle.
After Dowling scored a run in the top of the fourth, UB extended its lead to 6-1 in the fifth inning on a two-out, two-RBI single to left by senior, captain Alec Jannotta (Branford).
Bridgeport added another run in the bottom of the seventh inning on an RBI-single by junior Justin Carey (Amherst, Mass.). The insurance run would prove huge, as Dowling continued to battle scoring three runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth to make the final score, 7-6.
Dowling had the tying run on second base and the go-ahead run on first base when UB junior Dakota Edwards (Turlock, Calf.) induced the R.J. Going to fly out to left field to end the game and earn his first save of the season.
UB’s Daren Grabowski (Berlin) had a pair of doubles for the winners.