Shirley, N.Y.-A ninth inning comeback by the University of Bridgeport baseball team fell just short on Sunday afternoon in the 2016 East Coast Conference Tournament Championship game, as the fourth-seed Purple Knights fell to the second-seed and tournament host, Dowling College Golden Lions, 3-2.
Trailing 3-0 entering the top of ninth, UB plated two runs, as senior Alnaydo Rodriguez (Bronx, N.Y.) crushed a solo home run with one out and seniors Alec Jannotta (Branford, Conn.) and Bryan Kondor (Shelton, Conn.) hit back-back-to-back doubles to make the score 3-2. The home run by Rodriguez is his fourth in four games, and set a single-season, school record with 10.
Unfortunately for Purple Knights' fans, a two-out, ground ball up the middle by junior Justin Carey (Amherst, Mass.) which would have scored the tying run was fielded on a dive by Dowling second baseman Rob Costanzo, whose throw just nipped Carey at first for the game's final out.
Dowling moves onto the 2016 NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament East Regional with a 27-23 record.
UB, which has reached the ECC Championship Round in five of the last six seasons, must now await word on a possible NCAA at-large bid with a 27-22-1 overall mark. If Bridgeport's receives an at-large bid, it will be the first in the program's history.