Huskies Come Up Short Twice

Connecticut and South Florida played 18 innings Saturday for the opportunity to reach the championship game of the Big East Conference baseball tournament. But it took just three pitches to end UConn's season as the Bulls advanced to Sunday's championship round against St. John's oin Clearwater, Fla.

A solo home run by USF junior Jimmy Falla in the top of the fourth inning gave the Bulls a 1-0 victory in the opener and forced a second game Saturday evening. After grabbing a 1-0 lead in the nightcap, things turned ugly for the Huskies in the seventh inning as two wild pitches allowed runs to score and USF completed the sweep with a 2-1 victory.

UConn junior reliever Dan Feehan (1-2) struggled in the seventh with a walk, a base hit and a balk that put two in scoring position with nobody out. Senior third baseman Daniel Rockhold scored the game-tying run on a wild pitch and junior right fielder Jimmy Falla did the same when catcher Joe Pavone couldn't find the ball, to score the eventual game-winning run.

UConn (31-27-1) struck first with a run in the sixth inning of the elimination game. Senior first baseman Tim Martin lined a two-out double off the wall in right and scored on a scorching single past third by junior second baseman LJ Mazzilli.

Redshirt-freshman RHP Carson Cross earned his second start of the season and lasted a career-long 5.2 innings. He gave up just four hits and struck out one, while extending his scoreless innings pitched streak to 22.

Mazzilli finished the day 2-4 and ended the tournament with eight hits. Falla went 2-3 and totaled four of USF's eight hits in the two games.

South Florida took game one behind a complete game from senior right-hander Derrick Stultz (9-1). Sophomore left-hander Brian Ward allowed just one hit in five innings for UConn but the one hit given up was the home run to Falla in the top of the fourth.

On the season, Stultz has given up just seven hits and not allowed a run in 15 innings against UConn.

Ward (3-5) struck out six and walked four in his first start since facing USF on May 13. Junior right-hander Pat Butler pitched 3.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen in his third relief appearance of the season.

The loss means the Huskies will miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009.


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