UConn baseball takes on Fairfield today, after dropping two of three to St. John's
Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 16, 2012 23:04
The UConn baseball team lost two out of three last weekend against Big East opponent St. John’s and has now been bumped down to second in the conference standings. The Huskies dropped the first two games due to a stagnant offense but avoided the sweep thanks to an 11th inning RBI single by center fielder Billy Ferriter.
“They’re all big [wins] but that one was really good to get, especially after dropping the first two,” said head coach Jim Penders.
UConn now moves on to face Fairfield University today at 3 p.m. at Fairfield. The Stags come into the game with a 14-19 overall record, which includes a 3-6 MAAC record.
The Huskies have hit a bit of a slide, losing 3 of their last 4 games despite having previously been on a 4-game win streak. Fairfield starts its regular middle-of-the-week starter, Pat Butler (2-3, 5.77).
“If we play like we did against Quinnipiac or we play like we did against Brown or like we did the first two games against St. John’s, we’re probably going to get beat,” Penders said.
In the first game, UConn got off to an early lead by scoring two runs in the second off a walk to left fielder Eric Yavarone and Ferriter being hit by a pitch, both with bases loaded. After that, the offense went quiet and failed to score a run for the rest of the game. The Red Storm put the game away in the eighth inning by putting four more on the board off three hits and an error, and then followed by shutting out UConn in the ninth.
In game two starting pitcher Jordan Tabakman was off to a solid start for the Huskies until the fourth. With his team up 2-1, Tabakman surrendered three runs on four hits, including a two RBI single by second basemen Bret Dennis.
With the score at a 4-2 Red Storm advantage, Brian Ward got called on to get some relief work. Ward had been nursing arm fatigue throughout the season and has since struggled to find consistency on the mound. His return Saturday was a bit shaky as he gave up three runs in two innings of work, although only one run was earned.
“Certainly we are going to need him if we’re going to win a championship this year,” Penders said after the win at Quinnipiac eight days ago.
When Ward’s day was over, so was the day for both offenses, as the score remained 8-2 for the rest of the game.
Anthony Marzi was called on to start game three for the Huskies and he responded with an effective 5.3 innings by only giving up three runs. Dan Feehan was called on in relief, but struggled and gave up two runs in his one inning of work. Things were once again looking grim for UConn, until the eighth inning when they rallied to put three runs on the board and take a 7-5 lead. However, closer Scott Oberg, who had been pitching since the seventh, blew the save by giving up a run in the eighth and ninth innings. Oberg stayed in for the remainder of the game, which totaled for 4.7 innings –his most ever in one game– and got the win after Ferriter’s late game heroics.