April 23, 2013
STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut baseball team erased a two-run deficit with a four-run inning in the sixth en route to a 5-4 comeback win over the University of Massachusetts at J.O. Christian Field, Tuesday afternoon. The Huskies snapped a short, three-game slide to improve to 24-16, while the Minutemen fell to 9-22.
The game marked the 159th meeting between the two schools, dating back to an 8-2 win for Massachusetts State in 1900. UConn has won 11 consecutive match-ups against UMass since 2007.
Massachusetts notched a run in each of the first three innings and took a 3-1 lead into the sixth. With one out, sophomore right fielder Jon Testani (Monroe, Conn.) got the rally started with a single to left, followed by junior shortstop Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.) was hit by a pitch for the second time on the day and his nation-leading 24th of the season.
After a walk to redshirt-senior center fielder Billy Ferriter (Nashua, N.H.), senior second baseman LJ Mazzilli (Greenwich, Conn.) connected for a base hit through the left side to plate Testani. Two more runs came in, to clear the bases and give the Huskies the lead, on an error by the Minuteman left fielder.
UConn added to its lead on a hard hit ball booted by the third baseman to score Mazzilli.
In the eighth inning, Massachusetts put two men on with nobody out and advanced both into scoring position on a sacrifice-bunt. Senior RHP Stephen Catalina (Wolcott, Conn.) recorded the first out of the inning on a strikeout and was then pulled after a base hit by redshirt-junior second baseman Ryan Cusick, his fourth of the day, to cut the lead to one.
Redshirt-sophomore RHP Jordan Tabakman (Pompton Plains, N.J.) came on and issued a walk to load the bases, but escaped the jam with a strikeout to end the frame.
Catalina (1-0) earned the first win of his career win his 28th career appearance, all out of the bullpen. He pitched three innings and allowed one run on two hits and a walk, while striking out two. Tabakman picked up his fifth save of the season in 1.1 innings to go with two strikeouts.
Freshman left-hander Christian Colletti (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) lasted 4.2 innings in the start and was hit for three runs, two earned, on seven hits and three walks, while striking out a pair.
Junior righty DJ Jauss went 5.1 innings and allowed six hit batsmen, four hits and two walks for three runs, two earned, in the start for the Minutemen. Junior lefty Aaron Plunkett (0-2) suffered the loss, giving up two unearned runs, in 2.2 innings out of the bullpen.
Mazzilli went 3-for-5 on the day for his team-leading 16th multi-hit game of the year. He pulled even with Ferriter, whose career-best hit streak was snapped at 11 games, for second all-time at Connecticut with 258 career hits.
The Huskies return to action on the road tomorrow for a non-conference match-up at Bryant, beginning at 3:30 pm.
- UConn has won 11 in a row against UMass and leads the all-time series, 86-70-3.
- LJ Mazzilli and Billy Ferriter are tied for second all-time in career hits with 258.
- Tom Verdi, who entered the day leading the nation, was hit by two pitches in the game, lifting his season total to 24.
- UConn stole a season-high seven bases; led by two from Mazzilli.
- The Huskies are 6-2 against New England opponents this season.
- Bryan Daniello made his second start of the season at third base.
- UConn has used 26 lineups starting at least four freshmen.