May 26, 2013
CLEARWATER, Fla. - University of Connecticut junior lefthander Anthony Marzi (Berlin, Conn.) threw a complete game four-hitter to lead the Huskies to an 8-1 win over Notre Dame in the championship game of the 2013 BIG EAST tournament at Bright House Field.
With the title, UConn now advances to play in the NCAA tournament for the third time in the past four years. The BIG EAST title is the third in UConn history joining the 1990 and '94 teams.
Marzi (5-6) struck out six and walked just two in what was his third complete game of the season, but his first win in those three games. He was pitching on just two days after starting Thursday's game against USF and lasting just three-and-a-third innings and giving up four runs.
On Sunday, he threw 116 pitches, retired the Irish in order four times in nine innings and didn't face more than five batters in any inning.
UConn was the No. 8 seed in the tournament and becomes the first eight seed to win the event while the Irish were the No. 7 seed. UConn had a combined regular season record of 1-11 against the four teams it beat this week in Clearwater to win the championship. The Huskies are 34-26 on the season while the Irish are 34-24.
Husky head coach Jim Penders became the first person in BIG EAST baseball history to win the conference tournament as both a player (1994) and head coach (2013).
Husky senior centerfielder Billy Ferriter (Nashua, N.H.) was named the winner of the Jack Kaiser Award, named for the former St. John's athletic director and a founding father of the BIG EAST Conference. Ferriter was two-for-five in the championship game with a run scored and batted .600 for the entire tournament. He had the game-winning RBI in the top of the 12th inning on Wednesday night as UConn began it improbable tournament run with a 3-2 win over top seed Louisville.
UConn senior second baseman L.J. Mazzilli (Greenwich, Conn.) gave the Huskies all the runs they would need with a two-run home run to left in the bottom of the first. UConn added a run on a Notre Dame throwing error in the bottom of the second and built a 6-0 lead after three on an RBI single by sophomore right fielder Jon Testani (Monroe, Conn.) and a two-run triple to the rightfield corner by junior shortstop Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.).
The Irish got on the board in the top of the seventh when first baseman Trey Mancini led off with a home run. Marzi then retired the next three batters in order and the Huskies reclaimed the six-run lead when senior DH Stanley Paul (Stamford, Conn.) doubled home freshman catcher Max McDowell (North Huntington, Pa.) to make it 7-1.
Freshman third baseman Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.) had an RBI single in the bottom of eighth gave the Huskies an 8-1 lead. Ferriter joined Verdi, Marzi and sophomore relief pitcher David Mahoney (Colchester, Conn.) on as UConn's representatives on the all-tournament team.
Notre Dame was led by Mancini, who finished two-for-four Sunday. Irish starting pitcher Adam Norton, who dealt a complete-game shutout against Seton Hall in Notre Dame's tournament opener, lasted just 2.1 innings Sunday, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits with three strikeouts.
2013 BIG EAST Championship All-Tournament Team
P David Mahoney Connecticut
P Anthony Marzi Connecticut
C Elvin Soto Pittsburgh
IF Charlie Law Rutgers
IF Frank DeSico Notre Dame
IF Eric Jagielo Notre Dame
IF Tom Verdi Connecticut
OF Billy Ferriter Connecticut
OF Steven Vranka Pittsburgh
OF Brian O'Grady Rutgers
DH Ryan Sullivan Seton Hall
Jack Kaiser Award (Most Outstanding Player)
Billy Ferriter, OF, Connecticut