UB baseball earns piece of ECC title

Trailing 8-7 entering the top of ninth inning, the University of Bridgeport baseball team rallied to score three runs and notch a 10-8 win over the host St. Thomas Aquinas College Spartans on Sunday afternoon, the final day of the 2015 regular season.

The win in the second game of a doubleheader gives coach Joe Tonelli’s Purple Knights a share of the East Coast Conference title for the first time in program history with a 15-9 record.

UB shares the 2015 ECC regular season crown with the Dowling College Golden Lions, who also finished with a 15-9 ECC record after they topped Molloy on Sunday.

Bridgeport is now 23-22 overall, and STAC wraps up its regular season at 24-17-1 overall and 14-10 in conference play.

On Sunday, UB led 6-1 after the top of the sixth inning and 7-4 after the top of the seventh, only to see the Spartans rally to take an 8-7 lead heading into the ninth.

In the ninth inning, the Purple Knights scored a run on a wild pitch to tie things up at 8-8 to set up a game-winning, two-RBI single by sophomore Casey McCone out of Foran High, who was red-hot on the day going 4-for-5 at the plate with five runs batted in.

Senior Tim Bickford (Wallingford) had three hits, as Bridgeport banged out a total of 12 hits as a team.

McCone’s base hit made a winner of sophomore Anthony Alicki from Foran High, who picked up the win in relief to up his season mark to 6-3.

Alicki worked a nine-inning, complete game 1-0 shutout victory over STAC in the first game.

Senior Brian O’Keefe out of Foran High, worked a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his first save of 2015.

Up next for the UB baseball team is the 2015 East Coast Conference Championship Tournament which will be hosted by Molloy College from Thursday, May 7, through Saturday, May 9.

Bridgeport will be the number two seed in the tournament, as Dowling received the top seed by virtue of winning the season series against the Purple Knights by a 3-1 margin.

St. Thomas Aquinas will be the number three seed, and LIU Post the number four seed.
The Purple Knights will open play in the double-elimination tournament against St. Thomas Aquinas, and Dowling will face LIU Post.

The winner of the ECC Championship will receive an automatic bid to the 2015 NCAA Division II Championship Tournament.