Old Westbury, N.Y.-The University of Bridgeport baseball team advanced to championship Saturday of the 2019 East Coast Conference Baseball Tournament on Friday by blanking NYIT, 4-0, in an elimination game on the Bears' home field. UB, the number three seed in the tourney, which earlier in the day lost to top-seeded, LIU Post, 11-5, must now defeat the Pioneers twice to earn the school's first ever East Coast Conference crown. Bridgeport has been now made the final day of the ECC Championship Tournament in six of the last nine seasons, and the Purple Knights will enter Saturday at 21-28 overall.
In Friday's first game, freshman Joey Grillo (Sound Beach, N.Y.) went 2-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI, and sophomore Patrick Palmer (Ansonia, Conn.) also went deep in a losing effort setting up an elimination game versus NYIT, as the Bears defeated Queens (N.Y.) College earlier in the day.
In Friday's second game, pitching and power ruled the day for Bridgeport, as juniors William Jackson (New Haven, Conn.) and Jonathan Brooks (Stratford, Conn.) blanked the Bears on six hits, and Palmer crushed a two-run homer and sophomore Vincent DeRubeis (Trumbull, Conn.) hit a solo shot.
Jackson (3-3) worked eight plus innings as the starter allowing six hits and a walk while fanning four, and Brooks earned his fourth save of 2019 getting out of a first and second no out jam with a double play and another ground ball.
Freshman Christian DeJarnette (Seymour, Conn.) gave UB a 1-0 lead versus the Bears with a second inning sacrifice fly.
Saturday's action will begin at NYIT at 12 noon.