STORRS, Conn. (May 12) -- Jeff Hourigan, John Slusarz, Joshua MacDonald and Ted Garry combined on a one-hit shutout as the University of Connecticut baseball team rolled to a 6-0 win over Sacred Heart on Thursday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field in Storrs. The Huskies improve to 29-19 on the season with the win while the Pioneers dip to 18-29.
Hourigan helped get UConn off on the right foot with a strong start. The senior threw four shutout innings, blemished solely by a lined single to center field by David Kaloyanides to lead off the game. Following Kaloyanides' single, UConn pitchers would retire the next 27 Pioneer hitters in order. Hourigan struck out four and issued no walks.
UConn opened the scoring in the home half of the second. Hourigan led off with a single and moved to second on an infield single by Josh Farkes. Hourigan crossed the plate with one out on a double ripped down the left field line by Dennis Donovan.
The Huskies tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Pat Mahoney and Matt Untiet reached to open the frame on a single and error, respectively. Two batters later, Russ D'Argento delivered a lined two-RBI double just past a diving Curtis Lewsey at shortstop, putting UConn up 3-0.
Meanwhile, the Husky pitching continued to stymie the Pioneer batters. After Hourigan's four innings of one-hit ball, Slusarz came on in relief and threw 2.1 perfect innings, fanning three more Sacred Heart hitters. The junior received credit for the win to improve to 5-1 on the year. MacDonald came on for Slusarz and fired a perfect 1.2 innings with one strike out. In the ninth, Garry retired the Pioneers in order, fanning one, to close out the one-hitter. In all, UConn pitches struck out nine batters without issuing a walk.
A good effort on the mound by Sacred Heart starter Robert Duell was undone by the efforts of the UConn pitching staff. In seven-plus innings of work, Duell allowed just three earned runs on eight hits with two strikeouts while being tagged for the loss.
Unfortunately for the Pioneers, Duell walked the first two batters of the eighth inning, leading to a rally that produced three insurance runs for UConn. After Duell was lifted in favor of reliever Brad Trangucci, UConn loaded the bases with no outs when Farkes' intended sacrifice bunt nestled perfectly between Trangucci and third baseman for a single. Tony Mallozzi then scored the inning's first run when catcher Josh Enos couldn't handle a throw home on a ground ball back to the mound. The Huskies made it 5-0 when Pat Mahoney lined a single to left field and took a 6-0 advantage a batter later on a Untiet RBI ground out to first base.
The Huskies return to action on Saturday when they travel to South Orange, N.J. to face Seton Hall in a critical BIG EAST doubleheader at noon.