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BIRMINGHAM, AL The University of Connecticut baseball team took the first two games of its weekend series against Alabama-Birmingham on Saturday, downing the Blazers 4-3 in the first game and 7-3 in the nightcap at Jerry D. Young Memorial Field.
The Huskies improved their overall record to 3-4-0 overall, while UAB fell to 5-9-0.
After a rain delay pushed back the start of the first game, UConn took a 1-0 lead in the first game after junior Dan Trubia (Tolland, CT) scored on an error by UABs left fielder. The Huskies then had the bases loaded with two outs but failed to plate another run.
The Blazers evened the game in the fifth inning after Quincy Williams led off the frame with a double. Williams then scored on a base hit by Justin Miller, who advanced to second on an error. Senior right-hander Patrick Sperone (Sicklerville, NJ) worked his way out of the inning, though, without giving up another run to keep the game knotted at 1-1. Sperone, who later gave up a pair of runs in the seventh, worked 6.2 innings and struck out six and allowing 11 hits.
Trailing 3-1 after the seventh, UConn struck back in the top of the eighth. With the bases loaded and two outs, sophomore Mike Mocerino (Northboro, MA) drew a walk to force home a run, and junior Jon Robinsons (Boca Raton, FL) ensuing single to right brought home the tying and go-ahead runs. Junior Bob Barton (Carlisle, MA) kept the Blazers' bats silent in the bottom half of the frame, and sophomore Mike James (Roswell, GA) came on to work a perfect ninth inning for the save. Barton was credited with the win, his first of the season.
Connecticut first baseman Peter Soteropoulos (Peabody, MA) drove in three runs in the second game, including two with a single in the top of the ninth inning to put the game out of reach. The Huskies led 2-0 after the first inning when Soteropoulos drew a bases-loaded walk, followed by an RBI single from Trubia. UConn increased its lead in the second after an RBI single from junior Brett Burnham (South Windsor, CT) made it 3-0.
The Blazers cut Connecticuts lead to 5-3 in the eighth, but cushion provided by Soteropoulos in the ninth was more than enough for James, who picked up his second save of the day and third of the season. Junior left-hander Jesse Carlson picked up his second win of the season, working seven complete innings while allowing two runs on seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
Connecticut will look to complete the series sweep at UAB on Sunday. The game, originally scheduled for 1 p.m. CST, has been moved back to noon.Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E UConn 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 4 8 2 UAB 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 3 12 2
Win: Barton (1-0)
Loss: Falls (2-1)
Save: James (2)
E: UC Trubia, Mocerino; AB House, Williams
DP: AB 1.
LOB: UC 9; AB 8.
2B: AB Gaulden, Williams.
HBP: UC Gorrie, Burnham; AB House, Garner
SF: AB Womble.
SB: UC Burnham.
CS: UC Burnham; AB House, Jones.
HB: UC Sperone 2; AB Yarbrough 2.
BK: UC Sperone, Barton.
Win: Carlson (2-0)
Loss: Parks (1-2)
Save: James (3)
E: UC Robinson, Tokarz; AB Rollin, Miller, Garner 2, Parks.
DP: UC 2.
LOB: UC 8; AB 6.
2B: UC Gorrie; AB Gaulden, Garner.
HBP: AB by Parks (UC Burnham)
SH: UC Mallozzi, Soteropoulos, Stefkovich.
SB: AB Jones.
CS: UC Burnham, Soteropoulos, Trubia 2.
WP: UC Carlson, James; AB Parks, Brown.
BK: UC Carlson 2.