April 12, 2013
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. – The University of Connecticut baseball team took a four-run lead into the last of the ninth and held on for a 4-3 win at Villanova University on Friday afternoon. The win pushed the Huskies to the 20-win mark at 20-13 and 6-4 in BIG EAST play, while the Wildcats dropped to 9-23 and 1-6.
Trailing 4-0, Villanova climbed back into the game with three runs in the bottom of the ninth without a hit. Redshirt-sophomore lefty David Mahoney (Colchester, Conn.) got a fly ball out to start the inning and gave way to senior righty Ryan Moore (Bristol, Conn.).
Moore walked the bases loaded before recording a strikeout. He then walked in a run and was lifted for redshirt-sophomore righty Jordan Tabakman (Pompton Plains, N.J.). Tabakman walked one batter and hit another to put two more runs across. With the potential game-winning run at second, he induced a fly ball to right field to end the game.
UConn redshirt-sophomore RHP Carson Cross (Brentwood, N.H.) and VU junior RHP Pat Young went toe-to-toe through the first seven innings, before the Huskies were able to put runs on the board against the Wildcat bullpen.
With one out in the eighth, redshirt-senior Billy Ferriter (Nashua, N.H.) singled and stole his 20th base of the season. After senior second baseman LJ Mazzilli (Greenwich, Conn.) was intentionally walked, the two base runners executed a successful double steal. Both would come in to score on a groundball hit to short by freshman third baseman Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.), that was thrown home and to the backstop.
Connecticut kept scoring in the eighth as sophomore left fielder Eric Yavarone (North Haven, Conn.) singled through the right side to score Siena.
The Huskies would tack on one more in the ninth inning as Mazzilli drove in junior shortstop Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.) with his sixth of the season. Mazzilli went 4-for-4 on the day for the fifth four-game hit of his career. He passed George Springer for this all-time in UConn at hits with 246 and is one behind Ferriter for second.
Despite being the pitcher of record when UConn notched three runs in the eighth, Cross (6-1) has received just two runs from his offense in his last 26 innings pitched. He went seven-scoreless innings to earn the win, scattering five hits and walking just one, while striking out seven.
For Villanova, Young lasted 6.2-shutout innings, gave up six hits and one walk and struck out six in a no-decision. Junior righty Chris Haggarty (1-2) took the loss in one inning of relief. He surrendered three unearned runs on two hits and two walks.
Senior second baseman Tyler Sciacca led the VU offense with a 2-for-4 day with one RBI.
Connecticut and Villanova take the field tomorrow afternoon at 1:15 pm. Junior lefty Anthony Marzi (Berlin, Conn.) gets the ball for the Huskies.
- Billy Ferriter’s 20th steal of the season made him the first player in program history to record 20 or more in three different seasons.
- Ferriter is hitting .364 (8-for-22) in his last five games.
- LJ Mazzilli collected three hits for the second time this year as he passed George Springer (242) for third all-time in career hits.
- Mazzilli’s ninth-inning double was his first since March 9 at Sam Houston State.
- Mazzilli also recorded two steals in a game for the fourth time in his career.
- UConn has started at least four freshmen in 20 games this season.
- The Huskies lead in the all-time series is now 34-24; having won 14 of the last 16 match-ups.
- UConn is 9-2 in Cross’ 11 career starts.
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