March 28, 2012
STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut baseball team defeated Central Connecticut State, 7-4, at J.O. Christian Field on Wednesday afternoon. The Huskies improved to 12-11, while the Blue Devils fell to 11-9. UConn has now won six straight games and is above .500 for the first time since winning the season opener.
“I thought we did a pretty good job of defending," stated Connecticut head coach Jim Penders. "We’ve got to run the bases better, but it’s a work in progress.”
Junior righty Pat Butler (Chatham, N.J.) moved to 2-2 with his second straight win in 6.2 innings. Butler’s day ended with three runs given up on eight hits, while striking out just one.
“The first inning is usually [Butler’s] worst, but he settled in there,” Penders said of his starting pitcher. “His last two outings have been very good and Wednesdays agree with him. He did a good job keeping the ball on the ground and trusting the defense to make plays.”
CCSU scored the first run of the game in the first inning. Junior DH Tyler McIntyre lined a ball to center field and UConn redshirt-junior Billy Ferriter made a leaping grab on the run to limit the Blue Devils to just one run on a sacrifice fly.
In the bottom half of the first, Ferriter walked to lead-off the inning and senior second baseman Tim Martin (Stratford, Conn.)
, making his first start since March 16, hit a shot to right field that cleared the trees beyond the wall at the 348’ mark for his first homerun of the season. A third run came in for the Huskies when freshman DH Alex DeBellis
ripped a two-out ground-rule double that caught the chalk in right field to score redshirt-senior catcher Joe Pavone (Rochester, N.Y.)
Junior LJ Mazzilli (Greenwich, Conn.), starting at shortstop for the second straight day, led-off the fifth with a single to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. Senior first baseman Ryan Fuller (Old Lyme, Conn.) followed with a single, chasing Central lefty starter Jesse Frawley. With both runners in scoring position and two away, DeBellis singled to center field scoring both runners, but was thrown on rounding first base after Fuller crossed home plate to lift the Connecticut lead to 6-1.
Frawley (0-1) took the loss for the Blue Devils after allowing six runs, five earned, on six hits, three walks and a par of strikeouts.
Central scored a pair of runs in the seventh as junior second baseman Nick Palmisano registered a sacrifice fly and senior center fielder Jake Matuszak knocked a RBI single through the left side, ending Butler’s day with two outs.
Junior righty Dan Feehan (Nashua, N.H.) came on to finish the seventh and pitched the eighth, allowing one run on two hits. Redshirt-junior Scott Oberg (Tewksbury, Mass.) took the mound for the ninth inning and locked down his fifth save of the season.
DeBellis finished the day 2-2 with three RBI, while Mazzilli went 2-4 with two RBI, notching his 11th multi-hit game of the season. For the Blue Devils, Matuszak and sophomore left fielder JP Sportman both recorded two hits.
The Huskies return to action with the BIG EAST home opener on Friday at 3:00 pm against defending conference tournament champion Seton Hall.