Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.-The University of Bridgeport baseball team split an East Coast Conference doubleheader at Mercy College on Friday afternoon. In game one, the Purple Knights scored a season-high 18 runs in an 18-1 thrashing of the Mavericks, and in game two, Mercy pushed across a run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to capture a 2-1 pitchers' duel. With the split, UB is now 26-11 overall and 19-8 in conference play. Mercy is now 17-24 overall and 10-16 in the ECC. The spilt also clinches for the Purple Knights at least the number two seed in next week's conference championship tournament. The winner of the 2011 ECC Baseball Championship Tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament.
In game one, freshman John Ascenzia (West Haven, Conn.) led a 16-hit Bridgeport offensive explosion by going 4-for-5 with two runs batted in. Senior Tyler Moffatt (Colonie, N.Y.) also had a strong game in the opener going 3-for-4.
Junior Ryan Barba (Stratford, Conn.) knocked in three runs for Bridgeport in the opener, and seniors Gaetano Giunta (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Mike DeLellis (Marlton, N.J.) and Stefan Wagner (Freemont, N.H.) each had two runs batted in for the game one winners.
Junior Tom Wiacek (Bolton Landing, N.Y.), making his first start of the 2011 season, picked up the win in game one to raise his record to 4-2.
In the nightcap, Mercy scored a run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to make a hard-luck loser of junior Matt Bartolomei (Stratford, Conn.), who is now 5-2 overall on the year. Matt pitched his sixth complete game of the season in game two allowing eight hits and striking out five and walking only one in 6.2 innings pitched.
Ryan Barba drove in the lone Bridgeport run in the nightcap with a second inning sacrifice fly.
UB and Mercy will continue their five-game ECC series on Saturday afternoon with a 4:00 p.m. single, nine-inning game to be played at West Haven High School.