May 6, 2012
STORRS, Conn. – Senior third baseman Ryan Fuller (Old Lyme, Conn.) left no doubt when he hammered a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left field to lift the University of Connecticut baseball team to a 6-4 win in 13 innings over Cincinnati at J.O. Christian Field, Sunday afternoon. It was the second walk-off win of the weekend for the Huskies, who improved to 26-21 overall and 14-7 in the BIG EAST. The Bearcats dropped to 14-35 and 3-18.
Senior first baseman Tim Martin (Stratford, Conn.) led off the top of the 13th with a single through the right side, setting up Fuller’s two-run homer, his fourth of the season. It was UConn’s longest game of the season as the Huskies improved to 4-0 in extra innings.
Redshirt-junior RHP Scott Oberg (Tewksbury, Mass.) was brilliant out of the bullpen for Connecticut. He pitched a career-long 5.2 innings and struck out a career-high 11 batters. His previous career-high was four. The win went to junior righty Ryan Moore (Bristol, Conn.), who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth and stayed on in right field. Moore (1-0) struck out the side in the top of the 13th in his only inning of work, pushing the staff’s strikeout total to 21.
Cincinnati scratched across the first run of the game in the top of the second, but the Huskies quickly responded with four runs in the bottom half. Fuller led off with a double and freshman left fielder Eric Yavarone (North Haven, Conn.) later brought in two runs with a single to left with the bases loaded. Redshirt-junior center fielder Billy Ferriter (Nashua, N.H.) knocked in two more with a single to left center that was off the glove of the diving Bearcats center fielder.
Ferriter picked up his third hit of the game in the fifth inning and Martin doubled to left field. Ferriter attempted to score from first on the double, but was thrown out at the plate, a play that proved critical down the stretch.
Sophomore LHP Brian Ward (Milford, Conn.) was pulled after five innings of work, his longest start since beating No. 22 Oklahoma on March 9. Ward registered five strikeouts and gave up only one run on two hits and one walk. Ward’s no decision marked the 17th straight game that a Connecticut starter was not earned a win. The last to do so was redshirt-freshman Jordan Tabakman (Pompton Plains, N.J.) at Pittsburgh on April 6, which was also the last game that Oberg or any Husky reliever recorded a save.
In the seventh inning, Cincinnati stormed back against the UConn bullpen. A wild pitch with the bases loaded brought the Bearcats to within one and a two-run double down the left field line by sophomore second baseman Ryan Quinn tied the game at four.
Junior lefty Thomas Gentile lasted 7.2 innings in relief for Cincinnati, in replace of junior righty Andrew Strenge. Strenge pitched only 1.2 innings, allowing four runs on four hits, while Gentile scattered three hits and struck out four. Following Martin’s fifth-inning double, Gentile mowed down the next 13 Huskies. Redshirt-sophomore RHP Christian McElroy (1-5) suffered his second loss of the weekend, pitching three innings and giving up five hits plus the two-run shot to Fuller.
The Huskies return to action when they host Northeastern at J.O. Christian Field on Wednesday, May 9.