Throughout the 2011 baseball season, sophomore Alex Riley (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) will be providing insights on this year's UB team from a player's point of view. Below is the fourth installment of Riley's Ramblings, as Alex takes a look at the Purple Knights' in action from April 18-24, 2011.
RILEY'S RAMBLINGS-EDITION FOUR
Over the past week many payed tribute to their religious beliefs. The Bridgeport Purple Knights however found it fitting and proper to pay homage to the baseball gods after pulling off three consecutive come-from-behind wins against conference foe Dowling. As this series draws to a close, I will verify that it has been the most entertaining series of baseball many on the baseball team and myself included have ever participated in.
The week started off with a tough ferry ride over rough seas to Long Island. The last thing the squad expected was to battle in the most dramatic of come-from-behind wins we have achieved this year. The game opened up with us scoring a run in the first inning. However, this hot start was quickly negated when Dowling put up a two-run opening inning, which put us back on our heels. We regained a one run lead in the third, all to have snatched away again in the fourth. With the final inning closing in, the score was in favor of Dowling 7-4. The ninth inning of this game opened up with a bizarre performance as the Knights scored four runs to reclaim the lead. There were no hits in the inning. Matt Bartolomei entered to slam the door on the Golden Lions to notch yet another save on his belt.
For the second day of the series we entered the double header facing perennial star pitcher Gabriel Duran. Duran rendered our bats useless a year before as he managed to toss an impressive no hitter against our squad. In the fourth inning, Dowling jumped up to a 1-0 lead. To counter this, Anthony Plomitallo was called in to prevent another Dowling outburst in the middle innings. Plomitallo then proceeded to retire the side in order swaying momentum to our squad despite trailing in the game. Then in an act of deja vu, in the bottom of the sixth Duran labored with a series of walks which contributed to two runs scoring for the Purple Knights giving us the lead. The seventh inning was highlighted by another Matt Bartolomei appearance slamming the door shut on the Lions.
Entering the tail end of the double header, we found it hard to believe that Dowling could put up a fight as strong as they did the first two games, as they had lost both in a heartbreaking fashion. This however was absolutely false as Dowling jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third inning of play. In the bottom of the inning we managed to score a run tying up the ball game. Little did we know this was the last run that would score until approximately three hours later.
In the seventh, Dowling had a golden opportunity to score as they loaded the bases with two outs. This set the table for the most entertaining at bat of the season. Matt Bartolomei found himself in a full count pickle with two outs. The Dowling shortstop Squeri managed to foul off two consecutive pitches. Then Bartolomei, true to form K'd Squeri on his patented slider of doom, once again giving the Knights momentum. After seven innings the score was still tied at one to one and as the lights turned on at Harbor Yard we entered extra innings. In extras both teams had golden opportunities to plate runs, but both failed. Eric Schlitter hit an opposite field blast that found the outfielders glove on the left field warning track which ended our offensive in the eighth. Bartolomei continued to throw zero after zero on the scoreboard. Then Schlitterfound himself in another clutch situation as he did not disappoint launching a double into the right-center gap, ending the game in walk off fashion for the Knights.
Then after taking the holiday weekend off we traveled to Dowling, taking a loss. Although it was a disappointment, it gave us an extra spark entering play against Queens on Tuesday. This was one incredible week and one single write up cannot warrant the excitement and drama worthy of the series, and we certainly hope more dramatic wins from Bridgeport continue in the final two series of the 2011 season.