One way or another, the UConn baseball team always seems to find a way to be in the mix during the postseason.
The Huskies dug themselves a bit of a hole during the regular season, entering the Big East Tournament as the No. 8 seed, but so far, they have shown that a number next to the name does not mean that much.
After knocking off No. 1 Louisville on Wednesday, the Huskies overcame a 7-0 deficit to beat No. 4 South Florida 8-7, advancing to Saturday’s Semifinals.
The Bulls ran UConn starter Anthony Marzi from the game in the fourth inning after he allowed four early runs. After the top of the fifth, it appeared South Florida had put the finishing touches on the game, taking a 7-0 lead.
But the Huskies stormed back with some two-out magic in the bottom of the fifth. UConn scored six runs with two outs, a comeback sparked by a two-run single from Billy Feriter. LJ Mazzilli and Vinny Siena also drove in runs and Siena scored on a wild pitch to cut USF’s lead to one.
South Florida settled down after their fifth inning debacle, but UConn tied the game up on a sacrifice fly from Joe Testani drove in Siena in the bottom of the eighth.
David Mahoney pitched 2.2 clutch innings for the Huskies, allowing only one batter to reach base through a walk and striking out three batters.
Errors ultimately killed the Bulls on Thursday night. Stanley Paul began the bottom of the ninth with a fly ball to right field that USF’s Anthony Diaz couldn’t handle, allowing Paul to reach second. Tom Verdi tried to move him over with a bunt, but he popped it up, leaving Paul at second. However, a wild pitch put Paul on third base, and it resulted in an intentional walk for Billy Ferriter. USF then walked LJ Mazzilli to load the bases with one out, bringing Siena to the plate. Siena did not get a chance to work any magic, as another wild pitch brought Paul across the plate, sending UConn into Saturday’s Semifinals.
UConn gets tomorrow off and will play the play the winner of USF and Rutgers on Saturday at 1 p.m. If the Huskies lose, they will still have a shot of reaching the championship game, as it is a double-elimination tournament. The only way that UConn can get into the NCAA Tournament is by winning the Big East Tournament.
— UConn Baseball (@UConnBaseball) May 24, 2013
— BIG EAST Champions (@BigEastChamps) May 24, 2013
This is like that time UConn played USF. And that other time they played. And that other, other time. And that other, other, other time.
— We take the stairs (@NoEscalators) May 24, 2013
OK, it’s officially a wild pitch. But whatever. Welcome to the Top 5 of The Most USF Thing Ever List, USF & UConn!!!!
— Collin Sherwin (@USFCollin) May 24, 2013
Wild pitch, passed ball. Whatever it’s ruled, still probably the worst way to lose a baseball game, as only USF can do
— Mike Chapman (@Chap91) May 24, 2013
7-0 deficeit, tying run scored after USF had an outfielder collision, and we win on a passed ball…hollywood thinks that sounds too fake
— Mike Keating (@mkeats001) May 24, 2013
— Dom Amore (@AmoreCourant) May 24, 2013
— Chris Jones (@JonesCcj) May 24, 2013