ATHENS, GA - With weather conditions expected to be poor over the weekend in Athens, GA, the University of Connecticut baseball team retooled its three-game set with 20th-ranked Georgia to include a doubleheader on Friday. UConn dropped both contests, 8-5 and 13-3, to fall to 1-7 on the season, while the Bulldogs stretched their record to 6-2.
The opening game saw UConn get things going early by bringing in three runs in the first. Mike Scott (Jr., Darien, CT) reached on an error by Bulldog first baseman Mark Thornhill before advancing to second one out later on a fielders choice that accounted for the second out of the first. A Jon Gorrie (Jr., Northboro, MA) single to right would bring in Scott before Mike Leonard (Fr., Vernon, CT) singled to left and stole second to bring up Brian Tisbert (Sr., Andover, MA). Tisbert would strike out, but reach first on a wild pitch to load the bases for Michael Tripaldi (Groton, MA). Tripaldis double into left gave the Huskies a 3-0 advantage, which only got larger in the second when Peter Soteropoulos (So., Peabody, MA) hit his team-leading second double of the year into center to plate Joe Kagerer (Sr., Lebanon, CT).
Georgia, who has never had to come from behind in a game theyve gone on to win this season, took a step in the right direction in the third when Jeff Keppinger nailed a three-run homer, his second of the season, to center. Three scoreless frames later and Georgia evened it up when Andy Neufeld hit a sacrifice fly into left to bring across Kris Edge. Tisbert put UConn back on top in the eighth when he doubled to left to allow Gorrie to score.
Down one run with two innings left, Georgia capitalized on three Husky errors, all of which came with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to go ahead for good, 8-5. UConn replaced Patrick Sperone (Jr., Sicklerville, NJ) to begin the inning with Chris DeBrisco (Sr., Stamford, CT) who had led the team with a 1.13 ERA in giving up just one earned run on two hits in his eight previous innings. Thornhill, whose error in the first had got things rolling for UConn, benefited from a Kagerer miscue to advance to second leaving Edge on first. Adam Swann singled to left to allow Thornhill to tie the game with Edge advancing to third on the throw to leave runners on the corners. Gorrie committed the second error of the inning allowing David Coffey, who came in to pinch hit for Darryl Blaze, to reach which moved Swann over to third and brought Edge home. One batter later and Neufeld reached on an error by Cy Hess giving Swann the chance to score the third run of the inning. Jody Pollock singled to Tripaldi who threw Neufeld out at home, but not before Coffey scored.
For Georgia, former Simsbury, CT, native Rob Moravek started on the mound working 7.1 innings allowing eight hits, five runs, two earned, and striking out five before he was replaced in the eighth by Jefferey Carswell who gave up no hits and fanned two to collect his first win of the season. DeBrisco was credited with the loss to fall to 0-1.
A 33-minute rain delay extended the second game in which Georgia would again slide past the first few innings without much action before coming to life as the Bulldogs scored five in the fifth and four in the seventh, which were a part of a 13-3 win. The second contest was also similar to the first in that UConn got an early lead as Hess had a run-scoring single in the first and added another in the fifth for a brief 2-0 advantage. The Bulldogs erupted in their half of the fifth, highlighted by RBI doubles by Thornhill and Swann. Overall, it was Thornhill who led a 16-hit Bulldog attack to complete the sweep going 3-for-3 with three RBI.
Georgias Scott Murphy saw seven innings surrendering nine hits, with two runs, one earned, no walks and four strikeouts on his way to his second win of the season (2-0). For UConn, Carlson suffered the loss dropping to 0-2 for the year.
Tomorrows single game will go on as originally scheduled as it will begin at 2 p.m. it will replace Sundays contest in wrapping up the series.
Game One Georgia, 8, Connecticut, 5 UConn (1-6) 310 000 010-5 8 3 Georgia (5-2) 003 000 14X-8 11 1 Pat Sperone, Chris DeBrisco (8) and Mike Leonard. Rob Moravek, Jefferey Carswell (8) and Doc Brooks. WP- Carswell (1-0) LP-DeBrisco (0-1). WP- Morave-2 (2). HBP-by Moravek (Tisbert); by Sperone (Blaze). E-Hess (1); Gorrie (1); Kagerer (3); Thornhill (1). 2B-Soteropoulos 2 (3); Tisbert (1); Tripaldi (1); HR-Keppinger (2); SB-Leonard (1); Tisbert (4); Kagerer (2). SH-Leonard (1). SF-Neufeld (1). LOB-UConn-6, Georgia-6
Game Two Georgia, 13, UConn, 3 UConn (1-7) 100 010 010-3 9 1 Georgia (6-2) 000 251 41-13 16 5 Jesse Carlson, Jonas Swyer (5), Mike James (7), Paul Melzen (7) and Mike Leonard. Scott Murphy, Bill Sharpton (8), Brandon Anglin (9) and Tony Burchett. Win-Murphy (2-0) Loss- Carlson (0-2). WP- Swyer, 2 (3); Sharpton (2); Anglin (1). E-Gorrie (1); Pollock (3); Keppinger (5); Lamberth (1); Van Note (1); Murphy (1). 2B-Mocerino (1); Neufeld (3); Keppinger (3); Thornhill 2 (3); Swann 2 (3); Bodenmiller (1). HR-Armitage (1); Burchett (1). SB- Soteropoulos (1); Hess (3); Keppinger (1). SF- DArgento (1). LOB-UConn-9, Georgia-4 DP-UConn-2, Georgial-1