May 9, 2009
STORRS, Conn. - A nine-run second inning guided the University of Connecticut baseball team to a 14-6 win over Pittsburgh in BIG EAST Conference play at J.O. Christian Field on Saturday afternoon.
UConn, now 28-22 on the year and 11-12 in the conference, recorded seven hits to score nine runs to take a commanding 9-2 lead before cruising to the 12-run victory over the Panthers (26-17, 11-11 BIG EAST).
Mike Nemeth led the Huskies with four RBI on the afternoon along with two hits and one run scored. Nick Ahmed went 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs as well for the Huskies as sophomore Pierre LePage and junior Peter Fatse chipped in with three and two hits, respectively, including Fatse's two-run homer in the second frame.
Pittsburgh took an early 2-0 lead as Kevan Smith doubled into the gap in left center to score both John Schultz and Chris Sedon as the Panthers took control in the top of the first inning.
The Huskies took control of the ballgame in the bottom of the second inning as they recorded seven hits en route to the nine-run inning. George Springer led off the inning being hit by a pitch before a single through the infield by Peter Fatse. Two straight singles from Matt Burnett and Doug Elliot scored Springer and Fatse to tie the game at two a piece.
Harold Brantley Jr followed with a RBI single to center before Ahmed singled up the middle. UConn's hits leader this season in Nemeth kept the Huskies alive in the inning as he hit a two-out triple down the right field line to score both Ahmed and Brantley to give UConn a 6-2 lead before scoring on a wild pitch to put the Huskies up by five.
Springer stepped up to the plate twice in the second inning as he was hit by a pitch his second time up to bat as well. In his second at-bat of the inning, Fatse recorded his ninth homerun of the year and 21st of his career with a shot over the right field wall to give the Huskies a 9-2 advantage before a groundout by Mike Olt ended the inning.
The Panthers took back two runs in the top of the third to cut the UConn lead to 9-4 as Sedon knocked out his 17th homerun of the season for Pittsburgh.
Nemeth recorded his second hit of the contest with a single through the right side of the infield as both Ahmed and LePage scored to give the Huskies an 11-4.
Pittsburgh began to get a hold of UConn starting hurler, Elliot Glynn's pitches in the fifth as Chris Tonte hit a double with one out in the inning before scoring on a Chris Sedon double down the left field line to cut the UConn lead to six runs at 11-5.
The Huskies rallied with two outs in the fifth inning as Brantley and LePage earned their way on base with two bunt singles before Ahmed singled to left field to score Brantley from second to extend the UConn lead to12-5. In the sixth, Mike Olt's sacrifice fly to right field scored Springer from third as the freshman earned his way on base by a fielding error by Pittsburgh short stop Chris Tonte.
LePage picked up his third hit of the contest with a single up the middle to score Doug Elliot after Elliot doubled to get into scoring position.
Dan Mahoney came to the mound for the Huskies in the eighth to replace Glynn after Glynn allowed seven hits and five runs in seven innings of work. He also struck out six on the afternoon. Mahoney came in and gave up one run in the eighth as Matt Litzinger scored Smith on a sacrifice fly.
Cole Taylor took the hill for the Panthers in the bottom of the inning as he retired three consecutive batters on two strikeouts and a groundout.
Kevin Vance closed out the game for the Huskies in the ninth inning, striking out one en route to the UConn victory. Glynn earned the win for his fourth of the season as Pittsburgh's Corey Baker went 3.1 innings allowing 10 hits and 11 runs for the loss.
The Huskies will close out the BIG EAST series with Pittsburgh on Sunday, May 10 in a 1:00 p.m. ballgame at J.O. Christian Field in Storrs, Conn. Prior to tomorrow's contest, the Huskies will honor the members of their 2009 senior class.