The UConn baseball team fell in the Semifinals of the Big East Playoffs, ending there season, and their playoff run. The Huskies played USF, in the First round of the playoffs. In the first inning, the Huskies struck for an early run, and scored another run in the third to take a 2-1 lead. In the sixth inning, after the Huskies’ shortstop Tom Verdi led off with a single, Designated Hitter Alex DeBellis plated him with a double to lef-center field to put the Huskies on top 3-1. DeBellis moved to third on a single by Senior catcher Joe Pavone, and later scored on Center Fielder Billy Ferriter’s RBI single. In the eighth inning, the Huskies led off with two singles, and Billy Ferriter hit a double to right field to plate Pavone, and this ignited a three run frame. The Huskies relief pitcher, Scott Oberg, got out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth, and struck-out two in the ninth for his eighth save and this gave UConn the 7-2 win. UConn’s starting pitcher, David Fischer, pitched 6.2 innings for the win, his fifth.
UConn advanced to play Louisville, the top-seeded team in the playoff, in the second round. The scoring started in the third inning, with two outs. Huskies’ first baseman Tim Martin delivered the first hit of the game, and second baseman L J Mazzili hit another single. Ryan Fuller drove home Martin with a single, and Tom Verdi plated Mazzili to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead. Louisville got a run back in the fifth, but UConn still had a 2-1 lead. L J Mazzili led off the bottom of the fifth with a double down the left field line, the 200th hit of his career. Mazzili moved to third on a flyout to right, and Tom Verdi was intentionally walked. While Alex DeBellis was batting, Verdi stole second, and Mazzili stole home, to give UConn to 3-1 lead. Verdi later scored on a single to left to give UConn the 4-1 lead, and they won by the same score. UConn’s starter went 8.2 innings for his first win since April.
UConn then played USF in the third round, having already beaten them in the playoffs, 7-2, in the first round. Brian Ward was on the mound facing Derrick Stultz, who pitched a shutout win over the Huskies during the regular season. This time the result was much closer, but USF won again with Stultz on the mound. Brian Ward gave up only one hit, over 5 innings, but unfortunatly, that hit was a solo home run. Stultz gave up three hits, but scattered them, and they were all singles. The Huskies bullpen was dominant in kepping the game a one-run game, but the Huskies offense could not come through against Stultz, as the Huskies fell 1-0. With the loss, the Huskies moved to play USF for the elimination game.
In the elimination game, the game remained scoreless until the sixth inning. Tim Martin lined a two-out double off the right field wall, and L.J. Mazzili drove him in with a RBI single into left field. Carson Cross pitched a career high 5.2 innings, allowing just four hits. Dan Feehan came on in relief for Cross, and got UConn out of a man on second and third jam in the sixth. However, in the seventh, USF had men on second and third and no one out, and Feehan threw two passed balls to give the USF the lead. UConn never tied it up, and UConn was eliminated. Mazzili drove in the lone UConn run and finished the day with two hits, helping get on the All Big East Tournament Team. UConn finished the year with a 31-27-1 record. UConn, having had 15 players in the programs history go pro, had four players get selected in this year’s MLB draft. The players are closing pitcher Scott Oberg, second baseman L.J. Mazzili, third baseman Ryan Fuller, and starting pitcher David Fischer. UConn also had six seniors on the team. Despite losing some top talent, I think UConn will be just as good next year.