By David F. Pendrys
BRIDGEPORT, CT- The University of Bridgeport Purple Knights lost a lead late in their Sunday afternoon game versus LIU Post on their way to a lopsided 11-4 loss.
Dan Jagiello of the Pioneers picked up the win, while Bridgeport’s Brian O’Keefe was saddled with the loss. Jagiello pitched 8 innings giving up 9 hits, 4 runs, walking 2 and striking out 8. O’Keefe gave up 7 hits, 5 runs (4 earned) and had 3 walks and 6 strike outs. Several runs were scored after he left the game with no outs in the 7th after loading the bases.
LIU post got on the board early when Vinny Iacono tripled with 1 out. Kenny Daley then drove him with a ground out. In the bottom half of the inning Casey Ouellette doubled by hitting up the right line. John Ascenzia drove him in with a single two batters later, but he was caught stealing soon afterward and the inning ended with a strike out. The score was nonetheless tied.
With two outs in the top of the second Matt Bowers singled to center field, and advanced on a pitch that got by the catcher to second. Rick Alessi walked, and a single from John Bellock to deep scored Bowers, however O’Keefe got out of the inning with a strike out. Bridgeport responded in a big way in the bottom of the inning. Dave Egeland walked and advanced on a wild pitch. Casey McCone then walked to out two runners on. After a UB out, Alec Jannotta singled between short and third base scoring Egeland and advancing McCone. Tyler Gambardella then singled to load the bases. Jagiello got a strike out, but with two outs, Jose Negron singled scoring Jannotta and McCone and advancing Gambardella. With the damage done, Jagiello ended the inning with a strike out, but UB was up 4-2.
The score would remain that way until the top of the seventh when O’Keefe walked Bowers, gave up a single to Alessi and walked Bellock. This led to a pitching change and Kevin Johnson came in. He struck out the next batter and got a second to fly out, but Daley singled with a solid whap and drove in 2 runs. Bellock reached third and Daley reached second when the throw went to third rather than second. The score was now 4-4. However that mistake would prove costly when on a pop up by Anthony Brunetti the third baseman dropped the ball allowing the already running Bellock and Daley to both score. Johnson got out of the inning but it was now 6-4 LIU Post.
LIU Post had all the runs they needed as it would turn out but they added 5 insurance runs in the eighth knocking Johnson out of the game and bringing on Clayton Morris who gave up 3 runs in addition to Johnson’s 2 in the inning. UB’s final reliever Andrew Oswald stopped the bleeding but by then it was 11 to 4.
For LIU Post, Daley had 5 RBI’s on the day thanks to his 2 hits. Iacono had 3 hits and 1 RBI. Bellock had 2 hits and 2 RBI, and Bowers, David Groeneveld, and Tom Toland had 2 hits as well.
Bridgeport’s Ouellette had 2 hits, Negron had the 2 RBI off his 1 hit, Gambardella had 2 hits. Jannotta had the 1 RBI.