April 30, 2011
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Greg Nappo went eight innings and gave up just two hits as the UConn baseball team downed Rutgers 8-2 in BIG EAST Conference action on Saturday afternoon.
Nappo improves to 21-14 in his career with the win and 6-2 in 2011. With eight innings of work in today's ballgame, Nappo is now in sole possession of first place among UConn's all-time pitchers in innings pitched at 269.1. He is also just one of four UConn pitchers to win more than 20 games in his career.
Today's victory marks the program's 30th of the season, to give UConn its ninth 30-win season dating back to 1979. The Huskies' record improves to 30-13-1 on the year and 14-3 in BIG EAST Conference play after the six-run win over the Scarlet Knights (15-24, 7-10 BIG EAST).
Two solo home runs early in today's ballgame gave UConn a 2-0 lead after two frames. LJ Mazzilli led off the game with his second home run of the season before Ryan Fuller led off the second inning with his third homer of the year to give UConn the two-run advantage.
UConn added three runs in the fifth inning as Mazzilli, John Andreoli and George Springer each recorded an RBI in the frame. With one out, Billy Ferriter singled up the middle then stole second to get into scoring position. He later scored on an RBI single by Mazzilli to give UConn a 3-0 lead.
Andreoli followed with his first triple of the year to plate Mazzilli, giving the Huskies a four-run advantage. Andreoli scored on Springer's team-leading seventh sac fly of the season.
Rutgers cut the lead to three in the bottom of the fifth, making the score 5-2 before UConn tallied three more runs in the top of the ninth inning. Springer hit his 43rd career home run with a shot over the left field wall to extend UConn's lead to 8-2. The homer, his team-leading ninth of the season, ties the junior for second place with Jason Grabowski (1995-97) among UConn's all-time home run leaders.
With one run scored in today's ballgame, Springer is now the first Husky in program history to register 200 runs scored as he leads the UConn baseball program in that category.
Mike Nemeth, who entered the game with a program-best mark of 299 career hits had one hit to improve his career total to 300. Nemeth is the first Husky ever to record 300 hits in a career.
Springer led the Huskies with four RBI on the afternoon, while Mazzilli finished the game 4-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI. Ferriter also chipped in with two hits and two runs scored.
Kevin Vance came out of the pen for the Huskies and closed out the game in the eighth as he forced two groundouts and recorded a strikeout to clinch the win for the UConn ballclub.
Rutgers' Rob Smorol took the loss to fall to 3-6 on the year. Smorol allowed five runs on 10 hits in seven innings of work.
UConn will take on Rutgers in the series' finale on Sunday afternoon. The BIG EAST contest is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.