FAIRFIELD, Conn. (March 28, 2006) A pick-off at second base by junior Dennis Donovan (Center Moriches, N.Y.) ended the game for the Stags and sealed the Huskies 5-3 victory over Fairfield University on Tuesday afternoon. Three and a third innings of perfect pitching by senior Nick Tucci (Medford, Mass.) helped the Huskies to take a commanding lead early on. The win improves Connecticuts record to 13-8 on the season while the Stags drop to 6-12.
In the top of the first inning, freshman Erik Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) blasted a home run over the left field wall in the second at-bat of the inning to put UConn on the board, 1-0. Turgeon would finish the game with two hits in four at bats with two runs and one run batted in.
Tucci went five innings for UConn, allowing just one hit. He faced the minimum amount of batters a pitcher can face in five innings, struck out three and assisted on two put outs.
In the third inning, UConn tacked two more runs onto its lead off a double by sophomore Pat Mahoney (Des Moines, Iowa) and two wild pitches by the Stags pitcher Steve Tyburski. On two outs, Turgeon singled through the left side to put a Husky on base. Junior co-captain Larry Day (Amesbury, Mass.) singled in the following at-bat to move Turgeon into scoring position. Mahoney doubled to left field in the next at-bat to score Turgeon and increase Connecticuts lead to 2-0. While junior Matt Untiet (Berlin, Conn.) was at-bat Tyburski threw two wild pitches to advance Day and Mahoney around the bases, eventually scoring Day and increasing the lead to 3-0.
Senior Joe Smeraglino (Shelton, Conn.) came in to relieve Tucci in the bottom of the sixth. He went two innings, allowed three hits and the Stags first run of the game. Senior Joshua MacDonald (Milford, Conn.) relieved Smeraglino in the eighth and pitched a scoreless inning for Connecticut.
UConn tallied two more runs in the final two innings to bring its run total to five. Mahoney, who went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run, slugged his first home run of the season in the eighth inning. At the top of the ninth, senior Bryan Maler (Ansonia, Conn.) scored the Huskies final run on a wild pitch by Michael Collucci.
The Stags staged a near rally in the bottom of the ninth with two runs scored off of UConn pitcher Matt Karl (Wallingford, Conn.). Brian Schappert singled on a bunt to start the inning off for Fairfield. Schappert advanced to second on a wild pitch. Michael Joyce was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat to put two men on with just one out in the inning. Tom Arpino doubled in his time at the plate, scoring both Schappert and Joyce and bringing the Stags within two. Dewey Raymond stuck out looking for the second out of the inning, but the tying run was still at second with one out to go. In the final play of the game, Arpino was caught off base by Donovan and Karl as he was leading too far off of second.
The Huskies will host Yale on Wednesday afternoon before resuming BIG EAST play at Louisville over the weekend.
Score by Innings R H E
Connecticut......... 102 000 011 - 5 9 0
Fairfield........... 000 000 102 - 3 6 0
DP - Conneticut 2. LOB - Conneticut 4; FFD 3. 2B - MAHONEY(6); Girolamo(2); Arpino(2). HR - TURGEON, E.(2); MAHONEY(1). HBP - Joyce. SB - DONOVAN(2); MALER(8). CS - GARRY(1); Arpino(2).