March 3, 2012
STARKVILLE, Miss. – The University of Connecticut baseball team suffered a weekend sweep at the hands of Mississippi State following a 3-1 loss in game three of the MSU Tournament on Saturday afternoon. The Huskies fell to 3-6 on the season, while the Bulldogs improved to 9-2.
Sophomore lefty Anthony Marzi (Berlin, Conn.) fell to 0-2 with his second loss in as many starts after going six innings and allowing three runs on eight hits, while striking out five. Junior LHP Nick Routt gave up just one unearned run on four hits in six innings of work for Mississippi State to take the win.
MSU struck for the first two runs of the game in the second inning when MSU sophomore center fielder singled up the middle with two outs to score junior catcher Mitch Slauter and freshman right fielder Demarcus Henderson.
Connecticut cut the lead in half in the top of the fourth on a RBI double to right center by senior first baseman Ryan Fuller (Old Lyme, Conn.) to bring across junior second baseman LJ Mazzilli (Greenwich, Conn.). With one out, following a walk by freshman DH Alex DeBellis (Kinnelon, N.J.), Fuller rounded third on a single through the left side by sophomore shortstop Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.), but was thrown out at home by sophomore left fielder Hunter Renfroe in an attempt to score the game-tying run.
The Bulldogs took back the Huskies’ run in the sixth inning on a base hit up the middle to score Henderson, off the bat of junior second baseman Sam Frost.
UConn threatened to score in the seventh inning, without the benefit of a hit. Verdi led-off by reaching on an error, sophomore third baseman Mike Friel (Belle Mead, N.J.) was hit by a pitch and freshman left fielder Eric Yavarone (North Haven, Conn.) walked with two out, but the Huskies would leave the bases loaded after a groundball to first by junior center fielder Billy Ferriter (Nashua, N.H.).
In the bottom of the eighth, junior RHP Dan Feehan (Nashua, N.H.) made his first appearance of the season for Connecticut and struck out the side. Senior right-handed closer Caleb Reed came on in the ninth for Mississippi State and shutout the Huskies, having given up just one hit and striking out one to earn the save.
Fuller led the UConn offense going 3-4 on the day, while Mazzilli and Yavarone both saw their hitting streaks come to an end at eight games. Henderson went 3-4 with a pair of runs for MSU, while sophomore shortstop Adam Frazier went a perfect 3-3 at the plate.
The Huskies take on Lipscomb in a re-match of the weekend opener to close the Mississippi State Tournament tomorrow at 11:00 am CT.