Bridgeport, Conn.-The University of Bridgeport baseball team claimed the fourth and final spot in this season's East Coast Conference Championship Tournament with a Senior Day doubleheader sweep over the visiting Mercy College Mavericks at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard in the Park City. The Purple Knights won game one, 9-2, and completed the sweep with a comeback, 8-6 victory in the nightcap. UB is now 14-31 overall and 11-12 in the ECC, and Mercy falls to 20-28 overall and 9-14 in conference play.
In game one, senior Mark Hirschbeck (Trumbull, Conn.) had two hits and drove in three, and sophomore Alex Rauso (Trumbull, Conn.) blasted a monster, two-run home run to dead centerfield to help propel the UB offense.
On the mound, freshman Anthony Martino (West Sayville, N.Y.) worked the first five innings of game one to earn the victory.
In game two, the Purple Knights trailed 6-4 heading into the bottom of the fifth before tying the game on a two-RBI single by graduate student Tom Rinaldi (Waterbury, Conn.) Rinaldi finished the nightcap with three runs batted in to give him 44 so far in 2018 which is a new UB single season record surpassing 42 set by Eric Schlitter in 2011 and Matt Donohue in 2001.
With game tied at 6-6 heading into the bottom of the sixth, Bridgeport pushed across two runs that proved to be the difference in the game in a sacrifice fly by senior Daren Grabowski (Berlin, Conn.) and an RBI-single by classmate Isaiah Rivera (Newington, Conn.), who had three hits in game two. The game-winning rally in the sixth was started by a single off the bat of senior Mark Komaromi (Bridgeport, Conn.).
Sophomore Jonathan Brooks (Stratford, Conn.), who was outstanding in both games of the doubleheader, got the win in game two to raise his season record to 2-0, working three innings of scoreless ball in which he allowed only hits and struck out one batter without issuing a walk.
The same two teams will close out the 2018 regular season at Mercy with a Sunday, single game beginning at 12 noon.