May 3, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - UConn looks to get back on the bump in BIG EAST play with a three-game series at Rutgers beginning at 3:00 pm on Friday.
About the Huskies... Connecticut’s league record has dipped to 8-10 after back-to-back weekend sweeps, but the Huskies are 27-19 overall. Senior second baseman LJ Mazzilli is hitting a team-best .351 with 39 runs scored and 37 driven in. Redshirt-senior center fielder Billy Ferriter is hitting .429 in the last 16 games to lift his average to .300 after hitting .231 on April 6. Redshirt-sophomore RHP Carson Cross is 6-3 with a 2.29 earned run average, but coming off a 2.2-inning start at Notre Dame, last Friday. He leads the UConn staff with 66 strikeouts and a .237 batting average against. As a team, Connecticut has swiped 99 bases, led by Ferriter (23) and Mazzilli (22), sitting just one away from reaching 100 for the fifth time in program history.
Last Time Out... Four pitchers, led by four innings from redshirt-freshman RHP Max Slade, combined for an 8-0 shutout of Holy Cross on Wednesday afternoon. Ferriter powered the UConn offense with a career-high four RBI, while batting 3-for-4 with two runs and two doubles. Mazzilli matched Ferriter’s three hits and added one RBI and a steal. The win marked the fourth shutout of the season for Connecticut.
Scouting the Scarlet Knights... Rutgers has lost five in a row and eight of its last 10. Overall, the Scarlet Knights are 20-24 and 8-7 in the BIG EAST. Sophomore outfielder Jeff Zarrillo is hitting a team-best .329 with 27 runs and 22 RBI. Senior 1B/RHP Charlie Law is batting .317 with a team-high 36 RBI and is 3-5 on the hill with a 5.12 ERA in 11 starts, but is not scheduled to pitch this weekend. Senior LHP Rob Smorol leads the staff with a 3.28 ERA and 4-4 record.
Last Time They Met... The Huskies swept the Scarlet Knights in a doubleheader by identical 9-8 scores before falling, 15-0, at Dodd Stadium last April. Ryan Fuller homered twice in the series opening win and Tim Martin came through with a walk-off single in the 10th inning of game two. In game one, Rutgers took an 8-7 lead in the seventh with four runs, including a three-run homer by Jeff Melillo, but it was Fuller’s two-run home run in the eighth that stood as the game-winner.
From the LF Bullpen... Senior RHP Dan Feehan has appeared in 87 career games, all out of the bullpen. He tied David Erickson (2005-2009) for most all-time on Tuesday against Sacred Heart. Through 123.0 innings of relief, Feehan is 7-7 with a 3.44 ERA and 92 strikeouts. Since suffering a loss to Boston College (Apr. 2), he has pitched 9.2 innings in eight appearances, while allowing just one run and striking out six.
Up Next... The Huskies play their final home series of the season at J.O. Christian against Louisville with a doubleheader on Saturday, May 11, followed by “Senior Day” on Sunday, May 12.
Senior Swing... Since April 6, Ferriter is hitting .429 (30-for-70). Over that stretch, he has 12 multi-hit games in 16 played as well as three three-hit games. Ferriter has also doubled nine times and driven in 10 runs. Mazzilli has hit .467 (28-for-60) since dropping to .298 on April 10. In the last 14 games, he has knocked in 12 runs and hit seven doubles.
On the Bases... Connecticut has remained dedicated to its aggressive game plan as the Huskies have attempted 130 stolen bases to the opponents 84. UConn has totaled 99 steals, a .762 success rate, while the Huskies have thrown out 13 opposing runners on the bases. Ferriter and Mazzilli lead UConn with 23 and 22, respectively. The Huskies 99 steals are good enough for 11th in the country and 12th in steals per game, 2.15.