OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. – The top-seeded LIU Post baseball team advanced to the winner's bracket of the East Coast Conference (ECC) Championship after upending fourth-seeded Queens College 9-0 and senior James Varela continued to rewrite the record book Thursday afternoon at Angelo Lorenzo Memorial Field on the campus of the New York Institute of Technology.
Needing only two strikeouts to break his record of 116 from 2018, Varela had nine strikeouts on the day and set a new program record for most season strikeouts as he now has 124. He also did not allow a run and only gave up five hits.
Senior Zach Fritz led LIU Post at the plate, launching two home runs and recording two RBI. Senior Dave Brehm had three hits and two RBI, freshman Giovanni Ciaccio had three hits and senior Anthony Vaglicatallied one hit and two RBI. Sophomore Christopher Wasson tallied two hits and one RBI.
Prior to first pitch, sophomore Daniel Keane was presented with the ECC's Elite 19 Award, which honors the student-athlete with the highest GPA in each ECC Championship.The Pioneers used a double play to help keep the Knights scoreless in the bottom of the first then in the bottom took a 1-0 lead after freshman David Franchi knocked an RBI single to left field.
Varela threw his program-record tying 116th strikeout of the season in the top of the third and the Pioneers would build their lead to 4-0 after an RBI double by Wasson then an RBI single to shortstop by Brehm.
The top of the fourth saw Varela's program-best 117th strikeout of the season. Fritz then launched his conference-high eighth home run of the season to left field in the bottom of the fourth and Brehm would follow with an RBI double to left center to give the Pioneers a 6-0 advantage.
Fritz' second home run of the game came in the bottom of the seventh then in the bottom of the eighth a two RBI single to center field by Vaglica made it a 9-0 contest, which LIU Post was able to hold on to as the final score.
LIU Post will take on the third-seeded University of Bridgeport tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. at Angelo Lorenzo Memorial Field.
Provided by the LIU Post Sports Infomation Department.