Bridgeport Dispatches Top-Seed St. Thomas Aquinas, 4-3, To Advance To East Coast Conference Championship Saturday

Bridgeport Dispatches Top-Seed St. Thomas Aquinas, 4-3, To Advance To East Coast Conference Championship Saturday

Pomona, N.Y. - The University of Bridgeport baseball team, the number four seed, advanced to championship Saturday in the 2012 East Coast Conference Tournament with a 4-3 win over the host and top-seeded St. Thomas Aquinas College Spartans on late Saturday afternoon.  Bridgeport is now 18-20 overall, and STAC is now 34-18 and is eliminated from the tournament and must await word on Sunday for an at-large bid to the NCAA Division II Championship.

The Purple Knights, who were two outs away from elimination in their first game on Friday, will now face the number two-seed Dowling College Golden Lions at 12 noon on Saturday at Jack Kaiser Field on the campus of St. John's University in Queens, N.Y.  UB must defeat Dowling twice on Saturday to win the 2012 ECC Baseball Championship and earn the conference's automatic bid the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship which will begin next week.

Bridgeport scored three runs in the top of the third inning on against the Spartans and never trailed in the contest.  Junior, designated hitter Mike Olszyk (Hamden, Conn.), who would also help his team on the mound latter in the game, drove in UB's first run with double, and then senior Eric Schlitter (Guilford, Conn.) and Ryan Barba (Stratford, Conn.) would also knock in runs in the inning on a sacrifice fly and a single.

After STAC scored a run in the bottom of the third inning, Bridgeport would add what turned out to be the game-winning run in the top of the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly by senior Matt Nassi (N. Providence, R.I.).

Junior, right-hander Chris Maull (Winslow, N.J) came up big as the starter for Bridgeport working seven strong innings in which he allowed three runs on six hits to raise his season mark to 3-5.  Maull struck out four and walked two during his time on the mound in which he threw 122 pitches.

Olszyk worked two scoreless of relief to record his second save of the season.

Joe Ferrara (2-4) started and took the loss for the Spartans.

Earlier in the day, senior Matt Nassi (N. Providence, R.I.) capped a four-run rally in the bottom of the thirteenth inning with a one out, game-winning RBI single as the University of Bridgeport baseball team stayed alive in the 2012 East Coast Conference Championship Tournament with a heart-stopping 6-5 win over the C.W. Post Pioneers.  UB moved to 17-20 overall, and CWP ends its season with a 27-20 record.

Trailing 5-2 heading to the bottom of the thirteenth, the Purple Knights got an RBI single by junior Mike Olszyk (Hamden, Conn.), his second run batted in of the day, to cut the Pioneers' lead to 5-3, and a two-RBI single by senior Eric Schlitter (Guilford, Conn.) to tie things up at 5-5 and set up Nassi's game-winner.

Schlitter, who went 3-for-6 in the game, sent the game into extra innings with a towering home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the score at 2-2 after C.W. Post had taking a one-run lead in the top of the ninth on a successful suicide squeeze bunt.

Sophomore second baseman John Ascenzia (West Haven, Conn.) continued his torrid streak at the plate going 3-for-6 with two runs scored after going 4-for-4 yesterday.

Senior Kyle Trudeau (Branford, Conn.), the fourth UB pitcher of the contest, picked up the win for his first decision of 2012.  Paul Bischoff took the loss for the Pioneers.

Provided by the Bridgeport Sports Information Department.