Matt Barnes sat down eight batters by way of the k, a career best
March 21, 2010
STORRS, Conn. - Behind a 3-for-5 effort by Mike Olt (Branford, Conn.) and a seven inning, eight strikeout outing by Matt Barnes (Bethel, Conn.), the University of Connecticut baseball team dominated Sacred Heart 9-2 Sunday in the rubber game of the weekend series.
Olt's three hits were all multi-base hits tagging two doubles and a homerun in the outing. The third baseman drove in four runners and scored two of his own. Barnes remains perfect on the season improving his record to 3-0 on the year after pitching seven innings on the day, allowing two runs and striking out a career best eight batters.
The Huskies earn their 10th win of the year improving to 10-5 on the season while the Pioneers drop to 4-8 on the year.
Steve Tedesco started off the top of the fourth inning with a single to right field. One batter later on a hit and run play he came around to score on a double to left field by John Murphy to put the first run of the game on the board.
The Huskies rebounded in the bottom of the inning. George Springer (New Britain, Conn.) started things off for the Huskies, legging out a dribbler to third base. He moved onto second as Olt grounded out to third base and scored on a Kevin Vance (Solana Beach, Calif.) double to the right centerfield gap to tie things at one.
MJ Schifiano lead things off with a bunt in the top of the fifth. A diving stab by Pierre LePage (Wolcott, Conn.) held up Schifiano at second base. Barnes looked like he had his second pickoff of the game at second base to eliminate Schifiano but the umpire called him safe and one batter later he was driven home on soft hit to centerfield as the Pioneers retook the lead.
Billy Ferriter (Nashua, N.H.) began the bottom half of the frame by reaching first after the Pioneer first baseman dropped a soft throw by the pitcher. He moved up a bag after a single to centerfield by Ryan Moore (Bristol, Conn.). Both runners advanced on a double steal and Ferriter scored on a wild pitch by the Sacred Heart starter Corey Corcoran to even things out at two.
The Huskies took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Olt started things off with a line drive double that just landed just inside of the leftfield foul line. He was driven in one batter later when Mike Nemeth (Washington, N.J.) blasted a ball to deep left field that just caught the fence for a double and the RBI.
Nick Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) began the seventh with a dribbler to first base. The Pioneer first baseman tried to tag Ahmed but he was able to dive around the tag and safely into first. He kept up the hustle play and moved all the way over to third on a wild pitch. After taking off for second, Ahmed realized that the ball had gotten by the catcher and never let up his pace advancing to third.
Springer reached base via a walk and after slipping in the middle of the base path he drew a throw from the catcher and on a heads-up play Ahmed crossed the plate to bring the lead to two.
Mike Olt solidified the Husky lead in his at bat blasting a two-run shot to left centerfield, bringing home Springer and extended the lead to four runs as Sacred Heart made their second pitching change of the game.
UConn added three more runs to their total in the bottom of the eighth inning, extending their lead to seven. The highlight of the inning was a two-run double by Olt.
The Pioneers' started Corcoran earns his first decision of the year and now has an 0-1 record after five innings of work.
The Huskies are back in action on Monday, March 22 in their final game of the three-game home stand when they take on Northeastern in a 3 p.m. game at J. O. Christian Field.