Bridgeport, Conn.-The University of Bridgeport baseball team handed the visiting St. Thomas Aquinas College Spartans their first loss of the 2021 season on Saturday afternoon in Seaside Park, as UB won game two of the East Coast Conference doubleheader, 10-7, after dropping the opener, 13-8. With the split, the Purple Knights are now 6-5 both overall and in the ECC. STAC is now 11-1 overall and 5-1 in conference play.
In game one, Bridgeport rallied from being down 6-4 after four innings to tie things up at 6-6 heading into the seventh, but the visiting Spartans put the game away with a single tally in the seventh and six more in the eighth.
Senior Connell Roberts (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) had three hits and drove in three runs for UB in the opener, and junior Craig Leonard (Holtsville, N.Y.) also had three hits.
Graduate student Andre Marchesseault (Cheshire, Conn.) drove in a pair of runs in game one, and senior Matt Rodriguez (New Milford, Conn.), junior Ryan Donnelly (Fairfield, Conn.) and sophomore Jacob Rich (Northwood, N.H.) also had RBIs in the opener.
Junior William Ciccone (Shelton, Conn.) took the loss in relief for the Purple Knights in game one.
In game two, Bridgeport came back to grab the win, as UB was behind 2-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth when they took a 5-2 lead on a grand slam home run to right field by freshman Jake Woods (Stony Brook, N.Y.), his collegiate big fly and base hit.
The Spartans would battle back to take a 6-5 lead in the top of the fifth, as they plated four runs, only to see home side take an 8-6 lead which they never relinquished on a booming double to center field by Andre Marchesseault and a two-run homer to left by freshman, catcher Anthony Pascale (Stony Brook, N.Y.), his second long ball of the season.
Pascale and Craig Leonard would give Bridgeport two more insurance runs in the sixth on infield RBI ground outs.
Junior Justin Hafele (Shelton, Conn.) earned his first win of 2021 in relief in game two working 2.1 innings, in which he allowed four hits, one earned run with two strikeouts and no walks to even his record at 1-1.
Senior Stephen Giambra (Milford, Conn.) chipped in two hits in the nightcap along with a pair of base knocks from Marchesseault, to help lead a 10-hit UB offensive attack in the win.
The same two teams will play the rubber game of their three-game ECC series on Sunday afternoon at 12 noon, once again in Bridgeport, but St. Thomas Aquinas will play as the home team tomorrow.