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Quinnipiac and Central Connecticut are going dancing

CREDIT: Liz Flynn, Quinnipiac Baseball

Two more teams from the northeast punched their tickets to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday by winning their conference tournaments.

Junior third baseman Evan Vulgamore raced home on a wild pitch in the bottom of the thirteenth inning as Quinnipiac (29-27) slipped past Fairfield 6-5 on Sunday in the championship game of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) tournament at Richmond County Bank Ballpark on Staten Island.

Left-hander Colin Donnelly, a junior from Flemington, New Jersey, who pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings in relief while striking out five batters, was credited with the victory for the Bobcats.

It was Quinnipiac’s first ever MAAC championship. Quinnipiac joined the conference in 2014.

The Bobcats, who have won seven straight and tied a program record on Sunday by winning their 29th game of the season — a mark set in 2007 and 2015 — will be making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2005.

Fairfield, which swept Quinnipiac during the regular season but lost to the Bobcats twice during the MAAC tournament, finished the season with an overall mark of 35-25.

Matt Bertochi’s game-winning RBI single in the eighth inning lifted Central Connecticut (30-21) past Bryant 3-2 in the decisive final game of the Northeast Conference tournament at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Connecticut, on Sunday.

Bryant, which defeated Central Connecticut in five of their six regular-season meetings, but lost two out of three to the Blue Devils in the NEC tournament, finishes the 2019 season with a 40-20 record overall.

It was Central Connecticut’s sixth NEC championship in the past twenty years under head coach Charlie Hickey.

The Blue Devils last appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2010 when they were blown out by Florida State 11-3 and routed by UConn 25-5 in the Norwich Regional.

Darcy G. Richardson is a historian and the author of more than a dozen books. His latest is Loyola's Improbable Ramblers: 55 Years in the Making, available now on Amazon.

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