April 7, 2012
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The University of Connecticut baseball team was down to its final out when freshman Connor David (Cheshire, Conn.) stepped to the plate as a pinch-hitter with runners at the corners. David hit a sharp grounder toward the middle that was scooped up by the Pittsburgh second baseman, but the throw was not in time and freshman pinch-runner Devin Over (Windsor, Conn.) scored the game-tying run. After a wild pitch put two runners in scoring position, redshirt-junior center fielder Billy Ferriter (Nashua, N.H.) singled through the left side, scoring two runs, including the eventual game-winner, in a 5-3 win for UConn over Pitt on Saturday afternoon.
The Huskies entered the ninth, trailing 3-2. With runners at first and second and two out, freshman left fielder Eric Yavarone (North Haven, Conn.) hit a groundball to the left side and hustled his way up the first base line to avoid a double play.
UConn improved to 18-13 overall and remains in a tie atop the BIG EAST standings at 8-1, following the weekend sweep. Pitt dropped to 14-15 and 2-7.
Connecticut trailed 2-1 through six innings and came back to tie the game in the top of the seventh. Freshman third baseman Jon Testani (Monroe, Conn.) led-off the inning with a double to right center and scored on a base hit up the middle by Ferriter.
Pittsburgh regained the lead in the bottom half of the seventh when sophomore center fielder Stephen Vranka scored on a single through the left side by junior shortstop Evan Oswald. UConn redshirt-junior RHP Scott Oberg (Tewksbury, Mass.) came on to finish the inning and limited the damage by inducing a 6-4-3 groundball double play on his first pitch of the afternoon.
In the ninth, freshman catcher Alex DeBellis (Kinnelon, N.J.) reached on an error to the second baseman and was sacrificed to second by sophomore shortstop Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.). Over entered the game for DeBellis, Testani was hit by a pitch and Over advanced to third on the groundball by Yavarone that forced Testani out at second.
Oberg, who worked around a lead-off double in the eighth, stayed on to pitch the ninth. The Panthers brought the tying run to the plate after a lead-off walk, but Oberg (2-0) retired each of the next three batters to earn the win. Sophomore lefty Anthony Marzi (Berlin, Conn.) started on the hill for Connecticut and lasted six innings, giving up two runs on four hits and struck out six.
For Pittsburgh, sophomore righty Matt Wotherspoon lasted six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits, while striking out three. Freshman right-handed closer Tanner Wilt (1-4) was charged with the loss.
UConn’s first run of the game came in the first inning on a solo homerun to right field by senior designated hitter Tim Martin (Stratford, Conn.), his second of the season.
Ferriter went 2-5 with three RBI, while Martin also recorded a 2-5 day as the Huskies outhit the Panthers, 10-6. Senior DH Anthony Defabio registered a 2-3, one-run game for Pitt.
Connecticut returns to action on Monday for a non-conference match-up at Quinnipiac at 3:00 pm.