June 6, 2010
NORWICH, Conn. - The University of Connecticut baseball team dropped a 4-3 decision to Oregon on Sunday afternoon at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Conn. With the loss, the Huskies' were eliminated from NCAA Tournament play as their season came to an end.
With the win, Oregon (40-23) will face Florida State at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday night. If Oregon defeats the Seminoles, the two teams will face each other again on Monday, June 7 at 7:00 p.m. If Florida State wins, the Seminoles will advance to the NCAA Super Regionals.
Oregon took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on four hits off UConn starter Matt Barnes. Barnes finished the game allowing nine hits, four runs and three earned runs in six innings of work. He also picked up the loss to move to 8-3 on the year. The Ducks' Justin Latempa earned the win to improve to 6-3, while Madison Boer recorded his fifth save of the season.
The Huskies answered back with one run in the third. Pierre LePage doubled down the left line in the top of the third to get into scoring position for Ahmed, who recorded his second hit of the ballgame with a base hit into center which sent LePage across the plate to cut the Ducks' lead to one.
After allowing the Ducks to score another run in the third, Mazzilli led off the top of the fourth with a double into left field, his ninth of the season but was thrown out at the plate on his attempt to score on a Billy Ferriter groundout to first.
Oregon put runners on the corners with no outs in the fifth and eventually scored another run to add to its lead, making the score 4-1 after five complete innings. Ferriter led off the seventh with a walk, his 28th this season, before he stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Oregon catcher, Eddie Rodriguez. A sacrifice fly by John Andreoli scored the Husky left fielder as UConn cut the Oregon lead to two.
UConn put together a late-inning rally in the eighth as Springer led off the frame with an infield base hit. Mike Nemeth singled before Springer advanced to third on a failed pick off attempt to put runners on the corners. Oregon's Scott McGough was able to get out of the inning as he retired three consecutive Huskies on three straight strikeouts.
Ferriter singled to lead off the ninth before a 58-minute delay due to lightning storms in the area. Andreoli reached base on an infield single then moved to second on a Ducks' throwing error, putting runners in scoring position for LePage with no outs. LePage got his barrel on a slider and launched the ball to deep left field but it was caught at the wall by Andrew Mendenhall, who had just come into the game as a defensive replacement for the Oregon defense. Ferriter tagged up and scored the Huskies' third run of the day but it wasn't enough as the Ducks halted the Huskies' come-back chances by retiring the next two batters.
The Huskies stranded nine runners on base in today's ballgame and connected on 11 hits in 35 at-bats.
LePage's double was his 20th of the season as he finished the game with one hit, one run and one RBI.
Despite the loss, the Huskies finished the year with a record of 48-16, battling to a program-best 48-win season. The Huskies' accumulated numerous accolades during the season, including their recent accomplishments during NCAA Tournament action. Mike Olt became UConn's new all-time home runs leader as he hit two against Central Connecticut on Saturday for his 43rd and 44th career homers. Nemeth also became UConn's career leader in hits and doubles as he finished the year with 238 hits and 55 doubles. LePage's one hit brought the junior within one (237) of Nemeth's career hits record.
The Norwich Regional at Dodd ended on Sunday night with a 5-3 Florida State victory over Oregon. Two Huskies were named to the Norwich All-Tournament Team with LePage getting the nod at second base and LJ Mazzilli earning the spot as the designated hitter.