June 6, 2011
CLEMSON, S.C. - Greg Nappo went 5.2 innings in his second start in three days as he allowed just five hits and one earned run to help lead the University of Connecticut baseball team to a 14-1 win over Clemson on Monday night in the championship game of the 2011 NCAA Clemson Regional Championship.
The Huskies now advance to the Super Regional for the first time in school history and will face South Carolina in Columbia beginning on Saturday, June 11.
Monday's win marks the fourth-straight victory for the Huskies in NCAA Tournament action as they improve to 45-18-1 on the year. The Super Regional will consist of a best-of-three series with the winner moving on to the College World Series in Omaha. The Huskies have been to the College World Series five times in program history.
Nappo was named the 2011 Clemson Regional Most Valuable Player and struck out four. With the win, he improves to 10-2 on the year, making him just the fourth all-time Husky to register 10 or more wins in a single season.
With the win, Nappo also picked up his 25th career victory as he now ranks in sole possession of second place among UConn's all-time win leaders.
Mike Nemeth, John Andreoli and Nick Ahmed joined Nappo on the 2011 Clemson Regional All-Tournament Team, while Ahmed and Nappo were both unanimous selections.
Billy Ferriter finished Monday's game with three hits, including two triples, while both Ryan Fuller and Tim Martin added three hits apiece. Dan Feehan picked up his first save of the year as he pitched 3.1 innings, allowing just one hit on the night.
Nappo, who started Saturday's game against Sacred Heart, pitched only three innings and was limited to 37 pitches before leaving the game in anticipation of the Monday night start. Before toeing the rubber for the first time of the night, the Huskies had already given Nappo a 3-0 lead.
UConn took the early advantage in the top of the first inning as LJ Mazzilli led off the game with a single to left center before moving to second on a bunt single by John Andreoli, his 17th of the season. With no outs and two runners on base, George Springer singled up the middle for his third RBI of the regional as UConn took a 1-0 lead.
Ryan Fuller picked up where he left off on Sunday night as he also connected for an RBI single, scoring Andreoli to give the Huskies a 2-0 advantage. With runners on the corners and one out, Nick Ahmed registered his 61st hit of the season as UConn added another run before the Tigers could get out of the inning.
Clemson put its only run on the board in the second inning as Richie Shaffer connected on his 13th home run of the year.
UConn's bats continued as the Huskies recorded five runs on five hits and two Clemson errors in the fifth inning. The Huskies added five runs in the top of the eighth led by a two-run single by Andreoli and a three-run home run by Fuller, his sixth of the season.
Clemson's Kevin Pohle took the loss to drop to 5-2 on the year as the Tigers threw six pitchers in the contest. Clemson finishes the season with a 43-20 record on the year after falling to the Huskies in back-to-back games.
2011 Clemson Regional All-Tournament Team
C - Derick Horn, Sacred Heart
1B - Mike Nemeth, Connecticut
2B - Tommy La Stella, Coastal Carolina
SS - Nick Ahmed *, Connecticut
3B - John Hinson, Clemson
OF - Hayes Orton*, Coastal Carolina
OF - Will Lamb*, Clemson
OF - John Andreoli, Connecticut
DH - Phil Pohl, Clemson
P - Greg Nappo *, Connecticut
P - Anthony Meo, Coastal Carolina
MVP - Greg Nappo, Connecticut
* - unanimous selection