June 5, 2011
CLEMSON, S.C. - Freshman Brian Ward threw a career-high eight innings as the UConn baseball team downed Coastal Carolina 12-6 to stay alive in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The Huskies will now face top-seeded Clemson at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Ward (6-1) gave up six hits and three earned runs, while he was backed by 12 runs on 15 hits from the UConn ballclub. The Huskies (43-18-1) jumped to an early 4-0 lead after three frames then added six runs throughout the sixth and seventh innings to cruise to the six-run victory.
With the UConn win, the Huskies eliminate Coastal Carolina (42-20) from the NCAA Tournament as the Chanticleers finished the Clemson Regional with a record of 1-2.
UConn was led in today's contest by Mike Nemeth as the senior went 4-for-5 with two RBI. For Nemeth it was his 26th multiple-hit games this season, including his third straight. LJ Mazzilli went 3-for-6 with three runs scored and two RBI, while John Andreoli added three hits as well.
Mazzilli struck the first pitch he faced to open up the contest as he tripled down the left field line. He scored the Huskies' first run of the game on an Andreoli groundout to short. George Springer, who walked for the 31st time of the season, scored on a passed ball to give UConn an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Billy Ferriter reached base on a fielder's choice in the second inning, stole second and advanced to third on a Mazzilli groundout. He then scored on a wild pitch thrown by Chanticleers' starting pitcher, Josh Conway.
The Huskies loaded the bases with no outs in the third inning and were able to plate one run as Tim Martin grounded out to first base for the second out of the frame. Mike Nemeth scored on the play to give UConn a 4-0 lead.
A double, walk and a hit batter loaded the bases with one out for Coastal Carolina in the third as the Chanticleers scored their first run of the day on a wild pitch thrown by UConn's Brian Ward. Coastal Carolina's Tommy La Stella recorded a sacrifice fly and was followed by an RBI single by Daniel Bowman as the Chanticleers cut UConn's lead to one.
An error by Coastal Carolina's Tripp Martin prolonged the sixth inning and put Ferriter on base as the redshirt sophomore later scored with two outs as Nemeth walked to earn his first RBI of the day. Ryan Fuller followed with his team-leading 26th double of the season as two more Huskies crossed the plate to extend UConn's lead to 7-3.
Coastal Carolina's second error of the day put Tim Martin on first and set up the Huskies for a two-run inning as Mazzilli hit his 23rd double of the season to plate both Martin and Ferriter. George Springer doubled in the frame as Mazzilli scored UConn's 10th run of the contest. Springer was able to move to third on CCU's Daniel Bowman's first career error in 115 chances.
Conway took the loss for the Chanticleers as he finishes the season with an 8-2 record on the year. Seven of UConn's 12 runs were unearned as CCU registered four errors in the contest.
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