The UConn Huskies (48-15) and Oregon Ducks (38-22) faced off in an elimination game on Sunday afternoon from Dodd Stadium in Norwich CT. UConn started Matt Barnes who was 8-2 with a 3.87 ERA. Oregon countered with Justin LaTempa who had a 5-3 record with 3.81 ERA.
The game would remain scoreless until the second inning. Steven Packard would get a lead off single and would be followed by Jack Mardar who would single. Shawn Petterson would follow with another single to bring home Packard from second to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead. Mardar would end up on third and Petterson would get on first. JJ Altobelli would lay down a perfect safety squeeze to bring home Mardar and give the Ducks the 2-0 lead. Curtis Raulinatis would follow with a single to left field but Billy Ferriter would come up throwing where he would throw out Petterson at the plate for the final out of the inning.
UConn would jump right back in the third inning as with one out, Pierre LePage got a lead off double and would score on a Nick Ahmed RBI single to center to cut the Oregon lead to 2-1. Ahmed would end up getting picked off first base and after a George Springer single and Mike Nemth walk, Mike Olt would strikeout swinging to end the inning.
Oregon would grab a two run lead again in the fourth inning as KC Serna got a leadoff walk. He would move up to second on a Marcus Piazzisi bunt. Serna then would steal third base with Danny Pulfer at the plate. Pulfer would then ground out to second base to bring home Serna to expand the lead to 3-1 again. Eddie Rodriguez would end the inning by grounding out to second base.
Oregon would expand the lead in the fifth inning when KC Serna would lead off with a single. Marcus Piazzisi would follow with a little groundball up the first line that Mike Nemeth would let get through his legs which allowed Piazzisi to reach and Serna would reach third. Danny Pulfer would then hit a sacrifice fly to medium depth right field which would bring home Serna from third for the fourth run of the game. Marcus Piazzisi then would steal both second and third on consecutive pitches to Eddie Rodriguez to put him on third with only one out. Eddie Rodriguez would hit a two hopper to first baseman Mike Nemeth who would throw home to get out Piazzisi for the second out of the inning. Rodriguez would then run a delayed steal to reach second base. Steven Packard would fly out to center field for the final out of the inning and to end the threat.
UConn would get a lead off walk to Billy Ferriter who would steal second and go to third on a bad throw to second. He would score on a sacrifice fly by John Andreoli to cut the lead to 4-2. Oregon would get out of the inning without any further damage.
UConn would threaten in the eighth inning with back to back singles by George Springer and Mike Nemeth to get on first and second. George Springer would move up to third when Oregon pitcher Scott McGough would overthrow the second baseman on a pickoff. Scott McGough would then settle down to strike out Mike Olt, LJ Mazzilli, and Joe Pavone to end the threat.
Uconn would lead off the top of the ninth inning with a Billy Ferriter single. The game would be stopped due to a lighting delay for about 45 minutes. When they returned, John Andreoli hit a ground ball to third baseman J.J. Altobelli who would make a wild throw to first to allow Ferriter to reach third and Andreoli reach second base with no outs. Pierre LePage would then hit a long flyball to left field which Andrew Mendenhall would make a leaping catch against the wall that Ferriter would tag up on and score. Nick Ahmed would then fly out to short left field for the second out. George Springer would then end the game by striking out swinging on a 3-2 pitch.