Fuller's Turn to be Superhero

STORRS, Conn. – Connecticut senior third baseman Ryan Fuller decided to join teammate LJ Mazzilli as an instigator of more weekend walk-off wildness as the Huskies defeated Cincinnati 6-4 Sunday in the rubber game of their three-game series.

Fuller homered to deep left field at J.O. Christian Field with one out in the bottom of the 13th inning to drive in Tim Martin and give the Huskies (26-21, 14-7 Big East) their second walk off in as many days against the visiting Big East rival Bearcats (14-35, 3-18).

In a much needed victory that allowed the Huskies to remain in sole possession of second place in the conference standings, both Fuller and Connecticut coach Jim Penders got a good laugh after the victory because the pitch Fuller hit out of the park actually came on a hit-and-run call.

"Well, he screwed up; it was a hit-and-run," Penders said with a smile. "He was supposed to hit the ball on the ground, but I'm glad he didn't. I was just trying to get something going."

Fuller was OK with being wrong.

"Coach actually put a hit-and-run on and I didn't get the job done," Fuller said sarcastically. "It was a low and inside changeup and luckily I got the barrel on it. It wasn't good execution, but I'm glad I got the job done."

The UConn bats awoke from a game-two slumber on Saturday (1-0 loss) as the Huskies produced 12 hits off three Bearcat pitchers. Center fielder Billy Ferriter, first baseman Tim Martin, and Fuller each had three hits.

Even with all that offense - and the walk off home run - the performance of the day belonged to reliever Scott Oberg. Oberg threw a career high 5.2 innings, allowing two hits, no runs and striking out a career-high 11 batters.

"It's one of the best outings I have ever seen Scott throw," Fuller said. "He throws a lot of pretty awesome games for us. He just came out there and attacked hitters and didn't even give them a chance to breathe out there. Every time it was 0-2 and then a strikeout - it seemed. He got us to that 13th inning and it was awesome."

Oberg credited his defense for making a number of nice plays for him and was even quicker to praise Fuller.

"He has done that before," Oberg said of Fuller. "We know that he is the guy we want up in big situations because he is going to get the job done."

The Bearcats finished with seven hits and also received an outstanding relief appearance from junior Thomas Gentile (1-3, 2.97 earned run average) who held Connecticut to just three hits over 7.2 innings.

UConn will host Northeastern at J.O. Christian Field Wednesday in Storrs before returning to Big East action this weekend when they travel to Tampa to take on South Florida. St. John's leads the conference race at 16-5, followed by UConn (14-7), Louisville and Seton Hall (both 13-7) and USF at 13-8.

"We've got a couple more crucial Big East weekends," Oberg said. "Then we can move on from there, hopefully getting that one seed in the tournament and then winning the Big East regular season title and championship."


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