BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The Queens College baseball team kept its East Coast Conference (ECC) Tournament hopes alive with an 8-2 road victory over the University of Bridgeport Purple Knights on Sunday night. The win brings Queens (18-21, 10-13 ECC) within just one game of third-place Bridgeport (17-23, 11-12 ECC) in the ECC standings with two games left in the regular season.
Queens will host Bridgeport in a doubleheader on Monday, as the Knights and Purple Knights will battle for the final spot in the ECC Tournament. The Knights will need to win both games on Monday to make the tournament, with the No. 3 seed up for grabs.
After picking up his first save in the Knights' last outing, a 5-4 win at Bridgeport, freshman Nick Morena (4-6) pitched his third complete game of the season, giving up just two runs on six hits, while striking out three.
The Knights set the tone in the top of the second inning, bringing three across the plate all with two outs. Queens loaded up the bases after senior Joe Morris singled, junior Thomas Parish walked, and sophomore Nick Luciano reached on an error. Sophomore Joel Mendez was then hit by a pitch with the bags full, bringing in Morris for the first run. Freshman Louis Antos and junior Jonathan Temenak each drew bases-loaded walks, scoring Parish and Luciano to give Queens a 3-0 lead, chasing Bridgeport starter Anthony Alicki from the game.
Bridgeport cut into the lead over the next two innings with runs in the third and fourth. In the third, Cam Overbaugh hit an RBI single to left, but Parish got the second runner out at home to prevent further damage. The Purple Knights made it a 3-2 game in the fourth, as Casey McCone scored on a fielder's choice hit by Casey Ouellette.
The Knights extended the lead to 6-2 in the sixth, however, with another three-run inning to take full control. Temenak brought home Mendez with an RBI single to center to push the lead back to two. Four batters later, junior Karl Klesin and Temenak scored when junior Billy Riches reached on an error, providing a four-run cushion.
Queens added on to its lead in the eighth with another pair of runs to go up by six. Klesin scored his second run of the game on a wild pitch, and in the next at-bat, Parish delivered an RBI single to left to score Riches.
Morris (2-for-3, R), Klesin (2-for-4, 2 R), Temenak (2-for-5, 2 RBI, R) and Riches (2-for-5, R) each posted multi-hit games. Mendez and Parish each drove in a run and scored a run as well, as seven different Knights scored on the night.
The Knights and Purple Knights will face off in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 8, from Hennekens Stadium.