March 19, 2011
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. - Matt Barnes struck out eight in seven innings to lead the No. 19 UConn baseball team to a 3-1 win over No. 20 College of Charleston on Saturday afternoon at the Cougar Invitational.
Matt Barnes, who improved to 3-2 on the year with the victory, allowed five hits against the Cougars (15-5) and has not allowed an earned run in his last three starts. With his third straight victory, Barnes improves his career record to 16-8.
UConn (8-8) scored first with a run in the top of the fourth as Ryan Fuller recorded his sixth double of the season to score senior Mike Nemeth from second. Nemeth got on base with a single to left center before LJ Mazzilli moved him to second with a base hit through the left side of the infield. Fuller attacked the first pitch he faced and hit his two-bagger down the left field line to give UConn its first lead of the contest.
The Cougars tied the game in the sixth with a sacrifice fly by Daniel Aldrich before UConn answered back with a pair of runs. The first of the two came in the seventh inning as two hits and three walks gave UConn the one-run lead. With the bases loaded after two walks and a single by junior John Andreoli, Nemeth recorded his first RBI of the game with his eighth walk of the season.
The Huskies added their third run in the top of the eighth as Mazzilli crossed the plate for the first time of the afternoon. Doug Elliot took a 1-2 pitch and lined it up the middle as Mazzilli was able to score with help from a College of Charleston fielding error.
Dan Feehan had another stellar outing out of the bullpen as he faced four batters in the eighth inning. The sophomore has not allowed a run this season as he made his sixth appearance on the hill for the Huskies. Junior Kevin Vance closed the game out for UConn in the ninth as he registered his 11th career save and the third this season. Vance hit the first batter he faced before forcing CofC's Ryan Daniels to groundout into a double play. The Long Beach, Calif. native struck out Brandon Murray to end the game.
Fuller finished the afternoon with one hit and one RBI as he improved his current hit streak to eight consecutive games, while Nemeth added a 2-for-4 performance for the Huskies. Nemeth also extended his hitting streak with his team-leading eighth multiple-hit game this season. His hit streak of 10 games is also a team-high.
Freshman Tom Verdi registered a two-hit effort for the Huskies, while Mazzilli finished the contest 3-for-4 with one run scored.
Josh Renfro took the loss to fall to 3-2 on the year. He went 6.2 innings and allowed nine hits and two runs on the afternoon.
UConn will finish play at the Cougar Invitational with a 10:00 a.m. contest on Sunday morning. The Huskies will face Southern Miss to conclude this week's action.