April 11, 2010
STORRS, Conn. - Matt Barnes picked up his sixth consecutive victory of the year as the UConn baseball team cruised to an 8-2 victory over Villanova in the weekend series finale. With the BIG EAST series sweep, UConn improves to 22-7 on the year and 7-2 in league play.
In the Huskies' 10th straight win, Barnes went eight innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs, while striking out seven batters. Mike Olt led UConn at the plate as he finished the afternoon 3-for-4 with two runs scored. The seven straight BIG EAST victories for the Huskies marks the best for the program since the 2006 season when the Huskies won eight straight BIG EAST contests from March 24 - April 22.
Kevin Vance, who finished with two hits, two RBI and one run, threw the final inning for the Huskies as he retired the side to end the game. In the Sunday contest, both Vance and junior Mike Nemeth recorded home runs for the Huskies. UConn was able to take an early lead as Olt led off the second inning with a double into the right center gap then scored on a Joe Pavone double into right field.
Pavone also scored on the next play to put UConn up 2-0 as Billy Ferriter picked up his 28th hit of the season with a single through the right side of the infield.
Nemeth extended the Huskies' lead to 3-0 in the third as he drilled a solo home run over the right center field wall for his seventh blast of the season and his second homer in two days.
With two outs in the top of the fourth inning, Villanova (18-11, 2-7 BIG EAST) loaded the bases after a bunt single, a hit batter and a walk. Barnes was able to pitch out of trouble as he struck out David Koczirka to end the inning with three Wildcats stranded on base.
Vance added to the UConn offensive outing as he hit his sixth home run of the year and his fifth four-bagger in seven games. UConn put runners into scoring position in the fifth frame for the fourth consecutive inning as both Pierre LePage
and Nick Ahmed
scored in the frame to give UConn a 6-0 lead.
Villanova picked up its first earned runs of the weekend series as Chris Johnson recorded his first home run of the year down the right field line to cut the UConn lead to four in the top of the sixth inning.
The Huskies added two more runs in the eighth as Nemeth and Olt scored to give UConn an 8-2 advantage. Vance pitched the top of the ninth for the Huskies as he retired the side to end the 2:22 contest.
The Huskies will return to action on Tuesday afternoon against Hartford at J.O. Christian Field. UConn is currently 8-1 at home this season and will take on the Hawks in a 3:00 p.m. contest.