March 20, 2010
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut baseball team was unable to overcome a six-run fourth inning by Sacred Heart on Saturday, falling 11-8 at J.O.Christian Field. Junior Mike Nemeth (Washington, N.J.) was a leading force for the Huskies, going 3-for-4 against the Pioneers, including a home run in the fourth inning.
Nemeth was part of a three-run effort by UConn in the bottom of the second to take the lead over the visiting Pioneers. He singled through the right when redshirt junior Doug Elliot (Rocky Hill, Conn.) hit a triple to tie the game 2-2 with one out. The Huskies took the lead when Elliot scored on the Kevin Vance (Solana Beach, Calif.) fly caught by Sacred Heart's Steve Tedesco.
Redshirt junior Greg Nappo (Madison, Conn.) struggled in the top of the fourth when the Pioneers put up six runs on the board off of five hits. Nappo walked Mike Olszyk with the bases loaded with no one out. Another run scored before Mike Drowne hit a grand slam with two outs before the Huskies were able to get out of the inning. Sacred Heart led 8-3 at the end of four.
Nappo ended the day after four innings of work having allowed seven hits, eight runs and striking out six Pioneers.
The Huskies scored one run in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings, including Nemeth's second homer of the season in the fourth to bring the Huskies within four runs (8-4).
After Chris Zaccherio walked sophomore John Andreoli (Shrewsbury, Mass.) in the fifth inning, Andreoli proceeded to steal second and advanced to third when junior Pierre LePage (Wolcott, Conn.) hit a fly ball to left field. Sophomore Nick Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) reached first on an error by the Pioneer's Chris Whittemore, allowing Andreoli to score from third. UConn trailed 8-5 entering the top of the sixth.
The Pioneers increased their lead with runs in the sixth and seventh before the Huskies answered with one run in the seventh. Sophomore George Springer (New Britain, Conn.) hit an RBI double to right to bring LePage across the plate for a 10-6 game.
Despite one run in the top of the ninth by the Pioneers, UConn made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth. Two errors cost Sacred Heart as the Huskies capitalized on each, scoring a pair of runs. Vance and Andreoli both scored when a pair of errors in a single play allowed LePage to reach first. Vance scored on the play and Andreoli scored when a play by Sacred Heart's shortstop John Murphy went awry.
Sacred Heart turned a double play and gathered the final out to close out the game and win 11-8. It was the second double play of the day as the Huskies had one of their own in the second inning.
UConn hosts the Pioneers for the three-game finale at noon on Sunday at J.O. Christian Field.