George Springer hit his 44th career home run to lead the No. 20 UConn baseball team over South Florida 9-5 in BIG EAST play on Sunday afternoon (May 8 ) at J.O. Christian Field.
The home run puts Springer in a tie with former Husky Mike Olt for first place among UConn’s all-time home run leaders.
Springer, who finished the afternoon with two hits and two RBI, led UConn to its 17th win in BIG EAST Conference play.
The Huskies remain at the top of the conference standings with a 17-3 record. On the year, UConn is 33-13-1.
Greg Nappo struck out four in six innings of work and earned his 22nd career win. He now ties Matt Barnes and Patrick Sperone for second place among UConn’s all-time wins leaders.
Tom Germano is currently in first with 26 career victories. On the year, Nappo improves to 7-2 with today’s decision.
The Huskies’ registered two 3-run frames to clinch the conference victory. Ryan Fuller had a stellar outing at the plate – he finished 3-for-4 with four RBI.
UConn took an early lead over the Bulls (22-24, 11-9 BIG EAST). The Huskies scored two runs in the bottom of the first.
LJ Mazzilli led the frame with a base hit to right, before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by John Andreoli.
After Mike Nemeth forced a walk, Fuller doubled into right center to score both Huskies. For Fuller, it was his 20th double of the year.
After two quick outs on the first two pitches thrown in the bottom of the fourth inning, freshman Tom Verdi singled to center field before stealing second to get into scoring position. Verdi then registered UConn’s third run of the game as he scored on a Billy Ferriter double to left center.
South Florida used three hits to score its first run of the contest to cut UConn’s lead to 3-1 in the fifth. Jonathan Koscso recorded an RBI single up the middle to plate James Ramsay for the Bulls.
Over the wall
In the fifth, Andreoli singled to center, then stole his 18th base of the year before Springer homered for the 10th time this season with a blast over the left field wall to give UConn a 5-1 advantage.
Nemeth followed by scoring on a wild pitch for UConn’s six run of the contest.
Nappo gave up five hits and one run in his 11th outing of the year, as he faced one batter in the seventh before David Fischer took over on the hill for the Huskies.
With one on and no outs, Fischer came in and retired three straight batters as he struck out two and forced a pop up to second base to get out of the frame.
UConn added three runs in the seventh to extend its lead to eight.
Fuller registered a two-RBI base hit to centerfield to score both Andreoli and Springer for his third and fourth RBI of the contest.
South Florida scored its second run of the contest in the eighth as Andrew Longley recorded a sacrifice fly.
The Bulls added three runs in the top of the ninth – three hits and one UConn error cut the Huskies’ lead to four.
A double-play ball followed by a fly out to center ended the game, and stranded one USF base runner.
Fischer threw two innings and gave up two hits and one run.
Freshman Anthony Marzi closed out the contest in the ninth, allowing three hits and three runs in his fifth appearance of the season.
With a 2-for-3 performance, John Andreoli extended his hit streak to 18 games. The junior added two runs as well.
USF’s Junior Carlin took the loss to fall to 1-2 on the year.
UConn returns to J.O. Christian Field in Storrs on Monday, May 9 to host South Florida in the BIG EAST series’ finale. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Posted May 8, 2011
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