March 2, 2013
DeLAND, Fla. – The University of Connecticut baseball team defeated Central Michigan, 6-2, at the Bright House Invitational Tournament, hosted by Stetson University at Melching Field, Saturday afternoon. For the Huskies, it was their fourth straight win as they improved to 5-3, while the Chippewas dropped to 3-6.
Redshirt-sophomore righty Carson Cross (Exeter, N.H.) pitched six shutouts to improve to 2-0 on the season. He gave up just three hits, but walked four batters, while striking out four. Redshirt-sophomore lefty David Mahoney (Colchester, Conn.) came out of the bullpen and threw two scoreless innings with three strikeouts.
UConn scratched across a run in the bottom of the first as redshirt-senior center fielder Billy Ferriter (Nashua, N.H.) led off with a walk, stole second and scored from third on a sacrifice fly by senior second baseman LJ Mazzilli (Greenwich, Conn.). Mazzilli went 3-for-3 at the dish with a double.
In the third, the Huskies extended their lead to 3-0 on a two-run single by sophomore left fielder Eric Yavarone (North Haven, Conn.), with the bases loaded. With the hit, Yavarone matched a career-high eight-game hitting streak, which also came in the first eight games of 2012.
Sophomore right fielder Jon Testani (Monroe, Conn.) walked to lead off the fourth, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and third on a ground out to short. Freshman third baseman Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.) picked up his second hit of the day for his sixth multi-hit game of the season to drive in Testani and go up 4-0.
Connecticut added two more runs in the eighth as Testani crushed a pitch over the wall in left-center field for a two-run home run, his first of the season and fourth of his career. Testani walked in his first three plate appearances of the day.
Junior shortstop Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.) went 3-for-4 with a stolen base.
Senior right-hander Pat Kaminska took the loss for CMU in a 3.2-inning effort. He was tagged for four runs on six hits, five walks and struck out four.
At the plate, sophomore second baseman Pat MacKenzie went 2-for-four with a triple, run scored, RBI and a stolen base.
The Huskies wrap up this weekend’s action against the host Stetson tomorrow at 3:00 pm.
- In five career starts, Carson Cross has pitched five or more shutout innings twice in a win.
- The game just the second meeting between the two teams; the last a 10-9 win for UConn in 2005.
- Billy Ferriter picked up his 77th career stolen base and is now second all-time, chasing Dennis Dwyer (1991-94) for first all-time at 80.
- Eric Yavarone extended his team-leading and matched his career-high eight-game hitting streak; the last of which came in the first eight games of 2012.
- David Mahoney owns a 0.00 earned run average in six innings out of the bullpen with seven strikeouts.
- LJ Mazzilli’s third double of the season was his 54th career and ties him for second all-time at UConn with Clarke Caudill (1997-00).