April 15, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. - Billy Ferriter went 4-6 out of the lead-off spot for Connecticut and connected for his final hit of the day to score the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th inning en route to an 8-7, extra-innings win for UConn baseball over St. John's on Sunday afternoon.
Ferriter, a redshirt-junior center fielder from Nashua, N.H., singled up the middle to score sophomore shortstop Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.) with the eventual game-winning run. Verdi led off the top of the 11th with a single to left center and reached third on a sacrifice bunt and fly-ball out to deep center.
Redshirt-junior right-hander Scott Oberg (Tewksbury, Mass.) pitched a career-long 4.2 innings out of the bullpen to record the win. Oberg (3-0) lost the lead twice, but was able to keep the Red Storm off the board in the extra two frames. He allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits and a walk, while striking out three.
The Huskies trailed 5-4 after the seventh inning and took back the lead in the top of the eighth. Ferriter notched a base hit and went first-to-third on senior DH Tim Martin's (Stratford, Conn.) fourth hit of the game. Junior second baseman LJ Mazzilli (Greenwich, Conn.) stepped to the plate and turned on an inside fastball and crushed it over the wall in left field for a three-run homer, his ninth of the year.
St. John's climbed back into the game with a run in both the eighth and ninth inning. In the ninth, the Red Storm tied the game on a high-chopping, infield single to freshman third baseman Jon Testani (Monroe, Conn.), by senior shortstop Matt Wessinger.
Sophomore lefty Anthony Marzi (Berlin, Conn.) lasted 5.1 innings in the start for Connecticut and was perfect through 4.2 innings. Marzi left the game having given up three runs on five hits.
The Huskies threatened to get to St. John's junior righty starter Kyle Hansen early, but were unable to capitalize on their chances. UConn loaded the bases with no outs in the first and did not score. In the second, Connecticut had second and third with one out and again failed to bring in a run.
UConn did finally breakthrough with three runs in the top of the fifth inning. Ferriter singled and stole second, then came in to score on a base hit by Martin. Senior first baseman Ryan Fuller (Old Lyme, Conn.) and Testani each got on by a hit by pitch to load the bases and chase Hansen. Freshman Alex DeBellis (Kinnelon, N.J.) was called on to pinch-hit against senior lefty reliever Kevin Kilpatrick. DeBellis delivered a sacrifice fly to score Martin and advanced Fuller to third. Fuller came in on a base hit to center by Verdi, extending the Husky lead to 3-0.
Junior third baseman Sean O'Hare lifted a single to shallow right to register the first hit against Marzi. It would be the first of three straight singles as the Johnnies got on the board with a bloop single to right by freshman second baseman Brett Dennis.
Connecticut got the run back in the sixth as Ferriter singled through the left side and Martin executed a perfect drag bunt down the third base line for a single. Fuller then came up and knocked in Ferriter with an RBI-single to center field.
Marzi was taken out of the game in the sixth inning after Wessinger knocked an opposite field homerun over the wall in right field, a two-run shot that cut the lead to 4-3. Wessinger's homer marked the first extra-base hit of the series for St. John's. UConn ended the inning on a 4-6-3 double play with junior righty Dan Feehan (Nashua, N.H.) on the hill.
The top three hitters in the Huskies' order, Ferriter, Martin and Mazzilli, combined to go 10-18 with six runs and five RBI as UConn outhit St. John's, 15-11. Verdi and freshman catcher Connor David (Cheshire, Conn.) each recorded a pair of hits. Wessinger and sophomore Frank Schwindel each went 2-5 for the Red Storm.
Senior lefty Brendan Lobban (4-3) took the loss for the Johnnies in a two-inning relief appearance.
With the win in the series finale, Connecticut snapped a three-game losing streak and stands in second place in the BIG EAST. The Huskies improved to 20-16 overall and 9-3 in league play, while St. John's dropped to 21-15 and 8-4.
UConn returns to action at Fairfield on Tuesday, before getting back home for a weekend series against Rutgers.