April 11, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The University of Connecticut baseball team lost at Brown on a walk-off single to left center in the ninth inning, 8-7. The Huskies dropped to 19-14 on the season on the base hit by Bears' senior shortstop Graham Tyler that scored sophomore pinch-runner Nate Kukowski. Brown is now 5-21 on the year.
It was a back-and-forth game that featured four ties and four lead changes on a day that saw scattered rain showers throughout the course of the game.
UConn got on top quickly with a pair of runs in the first inning. Redshirt-junior center fielder Billy Ferriter (Nashua, N.H.) singled back up the box on the first pitch of the game and immediately stole second. Junior second baseman LJ Mazzilli (Greenwich, Conn.) brought in Ferriter on a single in the hole to short. The lead was doubled when freshman third baseman Jon Testani (Monroe, Conn.), batting with runners on first and second, laced a single into left on the first pitch he saw to score Mazzilli.
After allowing two runs in the bottom of the second, senior designated hitter Tim Martin (Stratford, Conn.) led off for Connecticut with a seeing eye single up the middle. Senior first baseman Ryan Fuller (Old Lyme, Conn.) brought in Martin with his 14th extra-base hit of the season on a triple to the wall in the right center gap. Fuller later scored as sophomore shortstop Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.) raced out of the box on a ball hit to short to beat out a potential double play ball.
Brown's threat in the third was stopped after two runs tied the game 4-4 as Ferriter caught a fly ball in center and promptly doubled freshman third baseman Nick Fornaca, who was running on the pitch, off first base.
The Bears took their first lead of the game in the fourth inning, but the Huskies came back to tie the game 5-5 in the top of the fifth as Mazzilli bolted for home and scored on a wild pitch. The two teams continued to trade blows as Brown went back on top by a run on a bases loaded sacrifice fly by Tyler in the sixth.
Trailing 7-5, Ferriter lined a 1-2 pitch into center field with the bases loaded to plate two and tie the game. UConn was unable to regain the lead as Fuller grounded out to third with the bases loaded, ending the sixth.
After the two teams combined to score in eight of the first 11 half innings, the game remained tied until the final play of the game.
Junior right-handed reliever Dan Feehan (Nashua, N.H.) took the loss for the Huskies. Feehan (0-1) pitched 1.1 innings and allowed one run on three hits. Junior righty Pat Butler (Chatham, N.J.) lasted 4.1 innings in the start, allowing seven runs on 10 hits.
The Bears used eight different pitchers, only two of which pitched more than one inning. Freshman RHP Taylor Wright (1-3) tossed two shutout innings to earn his first career win.
Ferriter went 3-5 with one run and two RBI out of the lead-off spot for Connecticut. On the other side, freshman right fielder Will Marcal went 4-4, for the second straight game, with two runs scored and one driven in.
Connecticut still holds a 35-23-1 lead in the all-time series that dates back to 1920.
The Huskies jump back into BIG EAST action this weekend with game one at St. John's set to start at 3:00 pm on Friday, April 13.