College Baseball Daily throughout the season will be providing our Quick Hits on games throughout the country. Special thanks to William Knox and Mark Rafferty for contributing to this report. As always, follow us on Twitter @CB_Daily for instant reaction and the best up to minute coverage on college baseball in the country. We also have a Facebook page which can be joined by clicking here.
WHAT DID WE SEE?
The second straight day that I had the opportunity to take in the UConn Huskies and the Louisville Cardinals Big East matchup. On Saturday though, the Huskies and Cardinals decided to move up their Sunday game to Saturday to make a doubleheader based on a rough forecast for Sunday afternoon. The Huskies entered the day in need of one win to clinch the 2011 Big East Regular Season title with another weekend still to play.
In Game 1, UConn struggled defensively especially LJ Mazzilli who committed three errors in the first four innings but they were able to overcome the poor defense to pick up a 7-5 victory over the Cardinals. Louisville scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning to take the early 3-0 lead but UConn bounced right back in the bottom of the inning with George Springer hitting a towering two-run homer over the left field trees to cut the Cardinals lead to 1. The Huskies eventually tied up the bottom of the fifth on a Billy Ferriter single. The teams traded runs in the sixth to make the score 4-4. Louisville took the lead again for the third time of the game in the seventh with Cade Stallings hitting his first homer of the season to make it 5-4. UConn took the lead for good in the bottom of the seventh by scratching across three runs on four hits to set up the final score. The win by the Huskies clinched the school’s first Big East conference title.
The Cardinals and Huskies played their final game of the series 30 minutes after the first one. The Huskies seemed to have a hangover from celebrating the championship from earlier in the day as Louisville led 3-0 heading to the bottom of the eighth inning. The Huskies bats heated up in the eighth though as they took advantage of a Louisville error and getting four hits to score three runs and tie the game up. The Huskies wasted a bases loaded and no outs situation in the bottom of the ninth in the tied game. LJ Mazzilli would hit a line drive to Ryan Wright at short which he shorthopped throwing home to get the runner from third and the catcher proceeded to toss the ball to third to complete the double play. John Andreoli flied out to right to end the threat. That play would make a major difference in the game as Adam Engel got a one out walk in the tenth and would move to second after a strikeout to Kyle Gibson. UConn manager Jim Penders then decided to walk Ryan Wright to get to Stewart Ijames. It would turn out to be a bad move as Ijames would deposit a fastball over the right center field fence to give the Cardinals a 6-3 lead which they hung onto.
- The big series of the weekend was the #1 ranked Vanderbilt Commodores the #6 ranked Florida Gators. The first game of the series was suspended on Friday night so the teams finished the game and played their second game of the series on Saturday. The Gators trailed Vanderbilt 5-4 heading to the top of the 9th inning but Josh Adams led off the inning with a homer to tie the game and Bryson Smith drove home a run with an RBI double to give Florida the 6-5 win. Vanderbilt came back with a vengeance in the second game of the day though by dismantling the Florida pitching staff in a 14-1 romp. The teams will face off on Sunday in the rubber game.
- Virginia bounced back from a tough loss on Friday to Miami as they hung off a late Hurricanes rally to win 3-2 to force a rubber game on Sunday afternoon.
- The South Carolina Gamecocks also bounced back as Scott Wingo hit a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth to snap a 5-5 tie and give the Gamecocks a win over the Arkansas Razorbacks.
- Army advanced to the Patriot League Championship Series next weekend against either Bucknell or Navy. The Bison and Midshipmen split on Saturday in the first two games of their three game Semi-final series which forces a winner take all game on Sunday. The first game between Bucknell and Navy went scoreless for the first 15 innings before the Bison broke through in the 16th to get the 1-0 win.
- East Tennessee State completed their sweep over Campbell on Saturday night by a score of 13-9. The win was head coach Tony Skole’s 400th career