Huskies take two games in WaWa Classic
Published: Sunday, February 24, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 24, 2013 22:02
The UConn men’s baseball team won two of three over the weekend in the WaWa Classic hosted by the University of Central Florida in Orlando. UConn lost to UCF on Friday, 7-3 but the Huskies salvaged the weekend, beating Troy University 13-8 on Saturday and Texas Tech in 11 innings on Sunday, 1-0.
UConn (3-3) opened the weekend against future Big East foe UCF. The Huskies struck first in the top of the fourth inning, when second baseman L.J. Mazzilli cranked a solo home run over the left field fence to give UConn a 1-0 lead. The round tripper was Mazzilli’s first of the 2013 campaign.
Things unraveled quickly after that for the Huskies, however, as UCF scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. UConn starter Anthony Marzi was tagged for five runs—three of which were unearned—and two hits during the disastrous frame. UCF also added a run in the bottom of the eighth on a solo shot. Although the Huskies rallied for two runs in the ninth inning, the six-run deficit was too much to overcome.
UConn left fielder Eric Yavarone slapped two singles and drew a walk in the loss.
UConn had an offensive eruption in its rebound on Saturday against Troy. The Huskies scored 13 runs on 15 hits, as Yavarone, shortstop Tom Verdi and pinch hitter Bryan Daniello all hit home runs in the victory.
UConn, who was the home team, went down 2-0 after Troy scored its second run of the game on a fielder’s choice in the top of the second. The Huskies scored two runs in the bottom half of the frame, running Troy starter Shane McCain from the game. UConn had three players touch home plate in the third inning, and five more came across in the fifth, giving UConn 10 unanswered runs.
Although starter Carson Cross allowed two runs in his first two innings of work, he ended up having an impressive seven-inning performance, which included retiring 12 straight Trojans during his outing. Cross allowed six hits and only one base on balls while striking out seven.
In the third and final game on Sunday against Texas Tech, the Huskies pulled off a 1-0 shutout in 11 innings. After Texas Tech starter Trey Masek finally left the hill after nine innings of shutout work, the Red Raiders were forced to turn to their bullpen. Jerad McCrummen entered the game in the tenth inning, where he got through the bottom of UConn’s order unscathed. In the top of the eleventh, however, McCrummen pegged UConn right field fielder Jon Testani to open the inning. Andre Wheeler relieved McCrummen, and subsequently walked catcher David Connor. Wheeler balked while facing UConn leadoff center fielder Billy Ferriter, giving UConn two runners in scoring position. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Ferriter lifted a pitch deep enough to left field to score Testani on a sacrifice fly giving the Huskies the lone run of the game.
UConn reliever Jordan Tabakman earned the save as he allowed only one Red Raider to reach base in his lone inning of work in the bottom of the eleventh. Ryan Moore was credited with the win.
The game was rain delayed for three hours.
The Huskies will be back in the Sunshine State next weekend, as they will play in the Stetson Tournament in DeLand, Fla. UConn will face off against Ohio State to open the tournament on Friday, before squaring off against Central Michigan on Saturday and the host Stetson on Sunday.