April 13, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. - In its first game in Queens in four years, the University of Connecticut baseball team fell in its weekend opener at St. John's, 7-2, Friday afternoon. The Huskies have now lost back-to-back games for the first time since March 17 and 18 and with the loss dropped to 19-15 overall and 8-2 in BIG EAST play. The Red Storm improved to 20-14 overall and 7-3.
UConn scored two runs in the first and St. John's took a 3-2 lead in the sixth, but it was a four-run eighth inning that blew the game open.
In the top of the second, Red Storm junior righty starter Matt Carasiti was struggling to throw strikes and the Huskies capitalized. Four straight players reached on either a walk or hit by pitch, the last two of which brought in senior first baseman Ryan Fuller (Old Lyme, Conn.), who led-off with a single, and freshman third baseman Jon Testani (Monroe, Conn.) for the first runs of the game.
St. John's tied the game 2-2 with a pair of runs in the fourth and took the lead with a run in the sixth. Senior shortstop Matt Wessinger worked a lead-off walk in the sixth and stole his 21st base of the season to get into scoring position. Sophomore first baseman Frank Schwindel drove him in with a low line drive to left field.
After the Red Storm's four-run eighth, Connecticut came to bat in the visitor's half of the ninth trailing 7-2. Freshmen Connor David (Cheshire, Conn.) and Eric Yavarone (North Haven, Conn.) registered back-to-back base hits and redshirt-junior center fielder Billy Ferriter (Nashua, N.H.) worked a five-pitch, one-out walk to load the bases. St. John's senior righty Steve Rivera finished the game with two strikeouts. The Huskies went down looking for all three outs in the inning as Rivera was able to paint the black on numerous occasions.
Earlier in the game, Yavarone made a spectacular catch in left center to rob Schwindel of an extra-base hit at the warning track. Yavarone led the UConn offense with two hits as the Huskies were outhit 7-6. Schwindel and junior third baseman Sean O'Hare each posted two hits for the Johnnies.
Carasiti (3-2) pitched 6.2 innings for the win, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out four. For Connecticut, senior righty David Fischer (Scotia, N.Y.) went 7.1 innings in the loss. Fischer (3-4) gave up seven runs, four earned, on seven hits and four walks to go with four strikeouts. River pitched 2.1 innings of relief, striking out five and giving up just the two hits and one walk in the ninth.
The Huskies and Red Storm take the field tomorrow for a 1:00 pm first pitch in game two at Jack Kaiser Stadium.