STORRS, Conn. (March 24, 2008) — Freshman Mike Olt's (Branford, Conn.) RBI double plated the game winning run as the University of Connecticut baseball team downed Massachusetts, 4-2, on Monday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field in Storrs in the Huskies' 2008 season home opener.
The Huskies up their mark to 9-10 on the year with the win while the Minutemen dip to 2-8.
Four Husky hurlers combined on a strong effort against UMass as junior Matt McDonald (Dartmouth, N.S.), sophomore Doug Jennings (Pompton Plains, N.J.), junior Erik Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) and senior Matt Karl (Wallingford, Conn.) held the Minutemen to a total of two runs on six hits with just one walk.
UConn opened the scoring in the home half of the second inning when sophomore Peter Fatse (Hampden, Mass.) drew a one out walk, stole second and came across to score on a bloop single into right field by freshman Mike Nemeth (Washington, N.J.).
UMass took a short-lived 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning when Kyle Multner sent the first pitch he saw high over the newly-shortened 330-foot fence in right field. The bottom of the frame saw UConn take the lead for good with a pair of unearned runs. Freshman Pierre LePage (Wolcott, Conn.) started it off innocently enough with one out when a poor throw by UMass' Jim Macdonald pulled first baseman Andy Tuetken off of the bag. LePage stole second base and, with UMass second baseman Adam Tempsta cheating to his right to hold LePage on second, freshman Elliot Glynn (Los Alamitos, Calif.) guided a ground single through the vacant right side of the infield to plate LePage and knot the score at 2-2. Glynn also stole second and came in to score the eventual game-winning run when Olt ripped a two-out two-strike double to the gap in right center.
The Huskies tacked on an insurance run an inning later as junior Matt Burnett (Endicott, N.Y.) sent a leadoff single through the left side of UMass' infield, advanced to second on junior Dale Brannon's (St. Petersburg, Fla.) sacrifice bunt, moved to third on a ground out by senior Gordon Stevens (Vista, Calif.) and crossed the plate when LePage lined a single over the head of Macdonald.
UConn's pitching took care of business from there. McDonald started the contest but lasted just two batters before succumbing to an injury on his first offering to the third hitter of the game. Jennings threw 4.1 innings of relief, allowing two runs on three hits, fanning two and issuing a single walk. Turgeon threw three innings of shutout two-hit relief and Karl yielded just a single as he retired the Minutemen in the ninth to pick up his second save of the year.
Mike Dicato admirably threw 7.2 innings on the mound for UMass, allowing two earned runs and fanning a trio of Huskies.
The Huskies return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Worcester to face Holy Cross at 3:00 p.m.