May 13, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. – The University of Connecticut baseball team was swept in BIG EAST play for the first time this season after an 8-3 loss at the University of South Florida, Sunday afternoon. The Huskies allowed five runs in the first inning on four hits and four errors.
UConn, which entered the weekend tied for second in the conference, dropped to 27-24 overall and 14-10 in league play. The Bulls improved to 33-18 and 16-8.
Down 5-0, the Huskies got a pair of runs back in the top of the second. Sophomore shortstop Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.) led off with a solo home run to left to get UConn on the board. Freshman left fielder Eric Yavarone (North Haven, Conn.) posted a single and scored on a squeeze bunt by junior right fielder Ryan Moore (Bristol, Conn.).
Sophomore lefty Brian Ward (Milford, Conn.) was pulled after allowing one run in the second inning. Redshirt-freshman Carson Cross (Brentwood, N.H.) came on and allowed two inherited runners to score, but went on to pitch five scoreless inning, while striking out four and giving up just three hits. Ward (3-4) pitched one plus, gave up seven hits and eight runs, only four of which were earned.
Connecticut added a run in the fourth after Verdi led off with a double down the right field line and scored on a fielder’s choice hit into by freshman designated hitter Alex DeBellis (Kinnelon, N.J.).
Senior LHP Matt Reed (4-3) tossed seven innings and scattered six hits, while surrendering three runs.
The Huskies have now gone 21 straight games without the starting pitcher recording a win. Verdi’s second-inning home run also ended a 17-inning scoreless streak for UConn.
Connecticut is in action for its final non-conference game of the season at 11:00 am on Wednesday, May 15 at Dodd Stadium against Rhode Island. Tickets are still on sale for just $5.