Notebook: Baseball offense shines at Storrs
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 11:04
It was an up and down weekend offensively for the UConn baseball team, after defeating Rutgers 9-8 twice on Friday and falling to the Scarlet Knights on Sunday 15-0.
In game one on Friday, first basemen Ryan Fuller had a career day at the plate, hitting 4-5 with five runs batted in. Two of those four hits were home runs, with one in the first inning and one later in the eighth inning. Fuller’s homer in the eighth would score two runs to eventually win the game for the Huskies 9-8. Fuller did not record any hits in game two of the double-header, but he did hit a double in game three at Dodd Stadium on Sunday. He currently is hitting .338 on the season, which is the third best on the team.
Game two of Friday’s double-header featured a few different heroes at the plate as well. With UConn trailing 7-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, junior Stanley Paul hit a double. Tim Martin and L.J. Mazzilli would add doubles of their own to cut the Scarlet Knights lead to just one run.
Paul would come up clutch again with another double to score shortstop Tom Verdi to tie to score at seven. Both teams would tack on a run in the 9th inning to send the game into extra innings with the score tied 8-8. Martin would single in the bottom of the tenth inning as Paul would score from second base to give the Huskies the walk off victory. “Stanley was great, he’s a great competitor; he’s learning and tries really hard,” said head coach Jim Penders.
On Sunday, the Huskies played at their home away from home, Dodd Stadium in Norwich; however, the confines of Dodd Stadium soon turned into a house of horrors as UConn lost 15-0. “I felt like guys were trying, we had good energy, but once we got down the body language suffered, and guys were still trying but in between pitches, there were hanging heads and slumped shoulders, that can’t happen,” said Penders. The Huskies only managed eight hits over nine innings and left nine men on base in the shutout loss. “They got on us early, I hit the ball hard today just right at people,” said junior centerfielder Billy Ferriter. Ferriter hit 1-5 in the game on Sunday, had a combined four hits in the double header on Friday. Freshman leftfielder Eric Yavarone and Mazzilli each hit 2-4 at the plate in game three.
The Huskies have a short break before their next game, when Bryant University comes to Storrs on Tuesday. “Offense comes and goes, you just need to get back in the cage and work on staying in the middle of the field and getting on top of the ball. We were hitting way too many lazy fly balls today,” said Penders. UConn had 11 fly outs and 12 ground ball outs in the game on Sunday. Tuesday’s game is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. at J.O. Christian Field.