April 15, 2011
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - The University of Connecticut baseball team shutout Villanova 10-0 on Friday afternoon in the second game of the BIG EAST double-header.
UConn (20-12-1, 9-2 BIG EAST) picked up its 20th win of the season to mark the 16th straight year that the Huskies have registered 20 or more wins in a single season. With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 13-20 on the year and 2-9 in BIG EAST play.
With three runs in the eighth and five in the ninth, the Huskies cruised to their sixth shutout victory of the year. The winning run was scored in the top of the fourth inning as Nick Ahmed led off the frame with a solo home run over the left field wall.
In the sixth, UConn tallied its second run of the game as Ahmed crossed the plate for the second time. Ahmed walked on four straight pitches before advancing to third on a failed pickoff attempt as Villanova's Kyle Helisek missed the mark at first sending the ball past the Wildcats' Kevin Wagner. Ahmed then scored on George Springer's fifth sacrifice fly of the season.
UConn added three more runs in the eighth led by an RBI single to right field by Ahmed. Redshirt sophomore Billy Ferriter led off the inning with a walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by LJ Mazzilli then stole third before scoring on Ahmed's hit. After a double by George Springer moved Ahmed to third and put two runners in scoring position, Mike Nemeth recorded a two-run single up the middle. Springer's hit improves his hit streak to 12 games, the longest this season for the UConn ballclub.
In the ninth, Nemeth recorded another two-run single up the middle as UConn added five runs to its tally. Ryan Fuller connected for his team-leading third RBI of the season to extend UConn's lead to 9-0 before John Andreoli's base hit to right field scored Fuller from third to give the Huskies a 10-run advantage.
Greg Nappo earned the win to improve to 4-2 on the year as he allowed two hits and three walks in six innings of work. He also struck out six batters. Will Jolin struck out two out of the bullpen for the Huskies as he went two innings before Kevin Vance closed out the game in the ninth, striking out the side. Villanova registered just two hits on the afternoon.
Helisek took the loss to fall to 0-5 on the year for the Wildcats.
Ahmed finished the game 2-for-4 with four runs scored and two RBI, while Nemeth registered two hits and four RBI. Fuller chipped in with a 3-for-4 performance along with one run and one RBI as well.
The series' finale between UConn and Villanova is scheduled for Sunday at 12:15 p.m. in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.