Baseball: WVU Spoils UConn's Home Opener

By Tim Goodenow for MSNsportsNET.com
April 3, 2005


    STORRS, Conn. - The West Virginia University baseball team spoiled Connecticut’s home opener on Sunday afternoon with a 7-6 victory at J.O. Christian Field. The Mountaineers led 7-0 before surviving a late Huskie rally to take game one of a doubleheader.

    West Virginia built a 7-2 lead after five and a half innings as Connecticut rallied for four runs to narrow the deficit to one and bring the go-ahead run to the plate. With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, UConn loaded the bases behind back-to-back walks and a single. The Huskies crossed the plate on a Larry Day walk before Matt Untiet hit a bases clearing triple close within one run.

    Mountaineer Todd Dunham worked the final 1 1/3 inning to pick up his fourth save of the season. The senior struck out two Huskie batters including the cleanup hitter to end the game.

    The Mountaineers scored first for the ninth time this season as they posted two runs in the top of the second inning. Second baseman Tyler Kuhn doubled to centerfield scoring outfielder Chad McKown who opened the inning being hit by a pitch. Catcher Travis DAmico then singled to score a hustling Kuhn for a 2-0 lead.

    West Virginia increased its lead to 5-0 in the top of the fourth inning behind a three-run homer from first baseman Stan Posluszny. McKown opened the inning with a single up the middle to extend his hitting streak to six games. Designated hitter Kyle Matuszek following with a bunt single before Posluszny sent an 0-2 pitch over the centerfield wall. WVU plated two more runs on a Justin Jenkins fielder’s choice and centerfielder Lee Fritz singled thru the left side scoring Doug Nelms to make it 7-0.

    Mountaineer starter Chris Amedro retired the first nine batters before Connecticut collected two runs on two hits in the bottom of the fourth inning. Outfielder Tony Mallozzi tallied the Huskies first hit with a double to left centerfield. Bryan Maler followed with a walk and both scored on a Jeff Hourigan single and fielding error by leftfielder Casey Bowling.

    Amedro earned the win going 5 2/3 innings allowing six runs on just three hits. The senior improves to 3-2 on the season.

    UConn starter John Slusarz worked 3 1/3 innings before exiting for reliever David Erickson. Slusarz allowed seven runs on seven hits in taking his first loss of the season.

    West Virginia collected 10 hits in game one marking the fifth straight game with double-digit base knocks. Matuszek, Posluszny and Kuhn each totaled two hits.

    The win propelled head coach Greg Van Zant’s career win total to 299. The 11th-year head man needs one more win to reach 300 for his career.

    Game two is in progress