After receiving the text message from Dowling College coach Tom Caputo on Saturday evening that he’d be starting Sunday’s winner-take-all East Coast Conference championship game, Mike Jeannetti was ready. It was his moment. He began to mentally prepare himself for just his second start of the season after suffering a UCL tear in his elbow the year before.

“Mike’s electric,” Caputo said. “He’s tough to hit and this time of year, the way things are going and an elimination game, you try to catch lightning in a bottle sometimes and fortunately we did.”

Jeannetti, a junior righthander, allowed two runs and six hits with four walks and seven strikeouts on 120 pitches in 8 1⁄3 innings in host Dowling’s 3-2 ECC championship victory over Bridgeport to earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Division II Tournament. It’s the Golden Lions’ first ECC title since 2012.

“I really just felt good,” said Jeannetti, an Island Trees graduate. “I knew if we lost, we were done. My career was over, so I left it all out there.”

Dowling struck first on Tim Going’s RBI single to leftfield to drive in Vinny Orlando (St. Dominic) in the third inning. Going (Islip) was awarded most outstanding player. He struggled in Saturday’s matchup, but knew he’d bounce back.

“When I got to first base, I said, ‘It’s nice to be back over here’ to my first-base coach and he laughed,” Going said. “It’s just a great feeling because at the top of the lineup, I just try to spark something and getting that hit, It was huge.”

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The Golden Lions (27-23) expanded their lead in the fourth when Orlando singled to rightfield on a 3-and-1 pitch to drive in Bobby Morse (Commack). Rob Costanzo (Sachem North) followed with a bases-loaded walk to score Tyler Piccolo (Rocky Point) for a 3-0 lead.

Jeannetti took the three-run lead into the ninth when Bridgeport (27-22-1) broke through on Alnaydo Rod riguez’s fourth home run in as many games to make it 3-1. After Alec Jannotta doubled with one out on Jeannetti’s 120th pitch, Caputo brought in Cody McPartland (Miller Place). Bryan Kondor doubled to make it 3-2. But McPartland responded with a strikeout and a groundout to strand the tying run at second.

Asked how it felt to see his teammates charge at him for the celebratory dog pile, it was difficult for McPartland to come up with an answer.

“I can’t even explain it,” he said. “It’s one of the best feelings I’ve had. I’ve won championships in my life, but nothing like this. Not with a group of guys like this.”

Dowling will be the No. 7 seed in the D-II East Regional and will face No. 2 Southern New Hampshire on Thursday at 3 p.m. at Franklin Pierce in Rindge, New Hampshire. Molloy College earned the No. 6 seed in the same regional and opens with No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas at 7 p.m. Thursday at the same location.