CLEARWATER, Fla. (May 25, 2006) The Huskies were eliminated from the BIG EAST Championship on Thursday afternoon with a 9-5 loss to the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers. With the loss, UConn stands at 39-18-1 on the season. Upon their return to Storrs, Conn., the Huskies will await the NCAA Selection Show on Monday, May 29, for an at-large bid into the NCAA championship.
The Huskies rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth to cut Rutgers' lead to 9-5. Junior Dennis Donovan (Center Moriches, N.Y.) led off the inning with a walk. He advanced to second on a single to center by Josh Farkes (Boston, Mass.). Freshman Dale Brannon (St. Petersburg, Fla.) grounded-out to second base, but heads-up running by sophomore Matt Karl (Wallingford, Conn.) prevented the double play. Donovan scored on the play to record the first run of the inning. Karl and Farkes both scored on the following play as senior Austin Wasserman (Nashua, N.H.) reached on an error and the runners advanced on an error on the second baseman. The game ended with a fly out to center field by sophomore Pat Mahoney (Des Moines, Iowa).
In the fourth inning, the Scarlet Knights touched senior Nick Tucci (Medford, Mass.) for seven runs to take the lead 8-0. The inning began with a groundout by David Williams. The following two batters, Steve Hook and Frank Meade, were hit by a pitch to put two men on. Tim Querns singled up the middle to score Hook and move Meade to third. Mike Bionde followed with another single to score Meade. The scoring continued as Rutgers tallied three more hits in the inning to score five more runs.
UConn responded with two runs in the next inning to cut the lead to 8-2. Karl reached on a walk to put the first runner on the bases. Brannon singled to right to put Karl 90 feet from home plate. A wild pitch during Matt Untiets (Berlin, Conn.) at-bat scored Karl and put Brannon at third. Untiet eventually doubled in the at-bat and scored Brannon for the final run of the inning.
Rutgers added another run in the bottom of the fifth to extend its lead to 9-2. Tucci was relieved in the fifth by junior Ted Garry (Rochester, Minn.). Garry pitched three and a third scoreless innings for the Huskies to close the game.