The St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team mounted a late challenge but fell short in a 6-2 East Coast Conference setback against the University of Bridgeport at Harbor Yard. The Spartans dropped to 30-11 overall with Bridgeport improving to 22-15-1. Combined with Dowling's victory over Molloy, a logjam now exists at the top of the conference standings, with STAC and Bridgeport tied for first at 11-6, and Molloy and Dowling a game back at 10-7.
Bridgeport steadily built a lead throughout the day, taking the lead on a wild pitch in the home second and adding another on Ben Torres' sac fly in the third. Torres singled in another in the fifth to build a 3-0 gap. Tyler Gambardella and Justin Carey each brought home tallies with RBI hits in the sixth, and Bridgeport had a comfortable 5-0 lead.
Another run tacked on in the seventh before the Spartans began to mount a comeback. STAC lo- aded the bases with nobody out in the eighth but almost came up empty-handed after a double play. A Purple Knight's error brought home a pair to give the visitors life. The Spartans put two runners on in the top of the ninth but were unable to draw closer as Bridgeport held on for its fifth straight win.
Anthony Morris started and took the loss for STAC to drop to 4-4 on the season while Rob Anderson worked seven shutout innings to take home the win for the Purple Knights. Joseph Pena had a pair of hits to lead the Spartan offense.
The four-game series continues with a 12:00 noon Saturday double-header at Palisades Credit Union Park before wrapping up back at Harbor Yark in a 6:00 pm start Sunday. STAC's magic number to clinch an ECC Tournament berth remains at two.
Steve Balsan, St. Thomas Aquinas Sports Information
- Photo by Dorice Arden