March 2, 2012
STARKVILLE, Miss. – The University of Connecticut baseball team struck for three runs in the second inning and held on, behind the pitching of redshirt-freshman Jordan Tabakman (Plompton Plains, N.J.), for a 4-2 win over Lipscomb at the Mississippi State Tournament at Dudy Noble Field. The Huskies improved to 3-4 with the win in game one of a doubleheader with the Bisons and MSU on Friday afternoon.
UConn capitalized early with a three-run second inning. Freshman Eric Yavarone (North Haven, Conn.) moved back to left field and batted out of the nine hole and immediately extended his hitting streak to seven games with a two-out single up the middle to score sophomore shortstop Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.) and freshman catcher Alex DeBellis (Kinnelon, N.J.).
Senior Billy Ferriter (Nashua, N.H.) made his return to center field, as well as the lead-off spot, after missing all three games last weekend. He delivered in his second at-bat of the game with a single to right center to plate Yavarone and extend the Huskies’ lead to 3-0.
Lipscomb (4-5) got one run back in the bottom of the fourth without the benefit of a hit. Junior center fielder Zach Lowery walked, advanced to second on a balk, advanced to third on a fly out to center and scored on a groundball to second by freshman DH Griffin Moore.
Connecticut loaded the bases in the top of the sixth, the second time the Huskies had the bases full. Senior first baseman Ryan Fuller (Old Lyme, Conn.) picked up an RBI with a walk to push the UConn lead to 4-1. The Bisons erased Connecticut’s run with a run of their own in the bottom half as junior right fielder Lee Wilson and Lowery were issued back-to-back walks. Following the two walks, Tabakman was pulled for redshirt-junior Will Jolin (Guilford, Conn.). Wilson scored for Lipscomb as senior first baseman Zak Messer hit into a fielder’s choice.
Tabakman, a right-handed transfer from North Carolina, made his first career start and picked up the win after a five-inning, three-hit performance. He gave up two runs, one earned, on four walks and a pair of strikeouts. Jolin pitched 2.2 perfect innings of relief and redshirt-junior Scott Oberg (Tewksbury, Mass.)
came on to record the save, the first of the season for the Huskies, in 1.1 innings.
Senior RHP Connor Sinclair took the loss for the Bisons after pitching five innings in the start. He allowed three runs on eight hits, three walks and struck out three.
At the plate, Verdi went 3-4, while junior right fielder Ryan Moore (Bristol, Conn.) went 3-5 with a run for UConn. Junior second baseman LJ Mazzilli (Greenwich, Conn.) recorded his first multi-hit game of the season with a 2-4 game to extend his hitting streak to seven games. Connecticut outhit Lipscomb 14-3 for the game.
For the game, Connecticut left 16 runners on base and only scored one run in three bases loaded situations.
Game two of the afternoon, weather permitting, will begin around 3:30 pm.