March 27, 2012
STORRS, Conn. – University of Connecticut head baseball coach Jim Penders earned his 300th career win in an 11-6 victory of Hartford at J.O. Christian Field on Tuesday afternoon. The win, their fifth straight, improved the Huskies to 11-11 on the season, while the Hawks fell to 4-17.
“An awful lot of players had a lot to do with those  wins,” said Penders on his milestone win. “[Assistant Coach] Chris Podeszwa has probably more to do with any of them than anybody. I’m fortunate to have great assistant coaches and great players. Players win games, coaches don’t.” Penders’ career record now stands at 300-195-3.
Hartford notched the first run of the game on a base hit to left field by sophomore DH Brian Hunter in the third inning, but the game was decided in the bottom of the fourth, during an eight-run inning for UConn.
The Huskies batted around and plated the eight runs on seven hits. Junior LJ Mazzilli (Greenwich, Conn.), making his debut at shortstop, tied the game with a one-out single to center field, scoring junior right fielder Ryan Moore (Bristol, Conn.), who led-off the inning with a base hit through the left side.
After a walk was issued to senior first baseman Ryan Fuller (Old Lyme, Conn.), redshirt-senior catcher Joe Pavone (Rochester, N.Y.) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, bringing in redshirt-junior center fielder Billy Ferriter (Nashua, N.H.) with the go-ahead run. The biggest hit of the inning came with two outs and UConn on top 5-0. Ferriter singled through the right side for his second hit of the inning to drive in a pair of runs with the bases loaded.
added to its lead in the fifth with three more runs. Freshman left fielder Eric Yavarone (North Haven, Conn.)
picked up an RBI double to right, senior Tim Martin (Stratford, Conn.)
drove in another run with a pinch-hit and Moore
hit a sacrifice fly.
Hartford got back three runs in the sixth inning to cut the lead to 11-4. Freshman left-hander Jared Dettmann (Somerset, Wis.) made the start for UConn and pitched into the sixth before being pulled for freshman righty Michael Healey (Tunkhannock, Pa.). Two inherited runners scored, ending Dettman’s day at five innings, four hits, three runs, five walks and five strikeouts as he picked up his first career win, improving to 1-0.
The Huskies did all of their work, offensively, against the Hawk’s bullpen. Sophomore lefty Zach Ferris allowed four hits in three shutout innings to start for Hartford. Freshman lefty Austin Barnes was tagged with the loss after giving up all eight runs in the fourth.
UConn outhit Hartford, 15-8, with five players recording multi-hit games. Freshman third baseman Jon Testani (Monroe, Conn.) made his fifth straight start and went 3-4 with two runs and one RBI. Mazzilli went 2-4, his 10th multi-hit game, and extended his hitting streak to 13 games.
For the Hawks, Hunter finished the day 2-4 with two runs scored and one driven in. The game also marked the return of Justin Blood, Hartford’s first-year head coach, who spent six season on Penders’ staff, including two as associate head coach.
The Huskies return to action tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 pm when Central Connecticut visits J.O. Christian Field.