April 29, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – After scoring just one run on seven hits through seven innings, the University of Connecticut baseball team came from behind for a 7-4 victory over No. 23 Louisville, behind six runs on six hits in the final two innings, Sunday afternoon. The Huskies snapped a four-game losing streak and avoided the weekend sweep to leave town with a 24-20 overall record. UConn and Louisville are now both 12-6 in the BIG EAST, both tied for second with USF, while the Cardinals dropped to 31-13.
Trailing 3-1 through seven, junior right fielder Stanley Paul (Stamford, Conn.) was hit by a pitch, sophomore shortstop Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.) walked and junior Ryan Moore (Bristol, Conn.) came off the bench to sacrifice both over to start the top of the eighth. Freshman catcher Connor David (Cheshire, Conn.) cut the lead in half, bringing in Paul on a single to first. Verdi was later tagged out at home on a groundball and David moved to third on a wild pitch, before coming home with the game-tying run on a single to short by redshirt-junior center fielder Billy Ferriter (Nashua, N.H.), his fourth of the day.
Junior second baseman Nick Ratajczak led off with a single for Louisville in the home half of the eighth, bringing in UConn redshirt-junior right-handed closer Scott Oberg (Tewksbury, Mass.). Ratajczak moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt and went to third on a groundball out. With the bases loaded, junior Shane Crain came in to pitch hit and reached on a hit by pitch, forcing in a run and giving the lead back to the Cardinals.
To start the ninth, junior second baseman LJ Mazzilli (Greenwich, Conn.) reached with a lead-off single through the left side, followed by a base hit from senior third baseman Ryan Fuller (Old Lyme, Conn.) to the right side. Paul sacrificed both runners up 90 feet. The Huskies loaded the bases when Verdi was hit by a pitch. Freshman Jon Testani (Monroe, Conn.) came in to pinch hit and delivered a double to left field, scoring two and giving Connecticut a 5-4 lead. Two more runs came in when freshman left fielder Eric Yavarone (North Haven, Conn.) deposited a bases loaded single to push the lead to 7-4.
Oberg (5-0) went back to work in the bottom half of the ninth and quickly closed the door with a 1-2-3 inning. Oberg pitched two scoreless innings for the win, while sophomore lefty Anthony Marzi (Berlin, Conn.) allowed three runs, two in the first, on five hits in 5.1 innings of work.
Freshman righty left the game for Louisville with a 2-0 lead after five innings pitch, having allowed one unearned run on six hits. Junior righty Matt Koch (0-1) took the loss after giving up four runs on four hits in just one inning out of the bullpen.
The Huskies outhit the Cardinals 13-7 for the game, led by a 4-6 day by Ferriter. Fuller went 2-5 with a pair of runs at the dish, while Verdi was 2-3 with a run and a RBI. For Louisville, Ratajczak produced three hits, scored twice and drove in one run in five at-bats.
Connecticut returns to action next Saturday at Dodd Stadium in Norwich for a BIG EAST doubleheader against Cincinnati beginning at 12:00 pm.