Feb. 25, 2012
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – Sophomore shortstop Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.) hit a grand slam in the seventh inning, but it wasn’t enough for the University of Connecticut baseball team to erase a nine-run deficit en route to a 10-6 loss to No. 29 College of Charleston at the Cougar Invitational, Saturday evening at Patriots Point. The loss dropped the Huskies to 2-3 on the season, while the Cougars improved to 4-1.
UConn scored the first run of the game in the top of the first inning on a two-out single to center by redshirt-senior catcher Joe Pavone (Rochester, N.Y.) that scored senior third baseman Tim Martin (Stratford, Conn.). In the bottom half of the inning, CofC took the lead as senior third baseman Rob Harding singled up the middle with a pair of runners in scoring position.
The Cougars chased Husky junior righty Pat Butler (Chatham, N.J.), starting his second game of the season, after just 1.1 innings. Butler took the loss and ended his day giving up seven runs, six earned, on six hits.
Trailing 10-1 in the seventh, Connecticut looked to rally with the bases loaded and nobody out. After two quick outs, Pavone singled to short to bring home sophomore right fielder Anthony Aceto (North Providence, R.I.) for his second RBI of the game. Verdi followed up with his first homerun of the season and first grand slam by a Husky on the year. All five runs in the innings were unearned against CofC.
The Charleston bullpen held Connecticut to just one more hit over the final two innings of play to close out the game. Junior RHP Christian Powell pitched the first five innings and earned the win to improve to 2-0 after allowing one run of four hits and striking out five.
In relief, freshmen Jordan Tabakman (Plompton Plains, N.J.)
and Jared Dettman (Somerset, Wis.)
each made their debuts for the Huskies. Tabakman, a right-handed transfer from North Carolina
, gave up three runs in 4.1 innings and struck out six, while Dettman, a southpaw, threw 2.1 hitless-innings of relief and struck out three.
Despite the four-run disparity on the scoreboard, Connecticut and Charleston were dead even with nine hits apiece.
Pavone finished the game 3-5, while Verdi went 2-5 and Martin went 2-4 with a pair of runs. For the Cougars, Harding totaled 3 RBI and junior shortstop Bradley Goodson went 4-5, while crossing home plat three times.
The Huskies take the field tomorrow morning for an 11:00 am first pitch against Rhode Island to wrap up the Cougar Invitational.