After three days of play at the 2011 NCAA Baseball Regionals, Connecticut is the only BIG EAST still alive in the tournament. The Huskies beat Coastal Carolina and Clemson on Sunday at the Clemson Regional to force a deciding game against Clemson on Monday night. Connecticut took down Coastal Carolina 12-6 in the afternoon game before beating Clemson 7-6 in the nightcap. St. John’s was eliminated from the Charlottesville Regional after losing to East Carolina 6-4. Seton Hall also was eliminated, falling 6-0 to Arizona in the College Station Regional. Connecticut will face Clemson at 7 p.m. ET on Monday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, S.C. for a chance to advance to the Super Regional round.
Connecticut 12, Coastal Carolina 6
Freshman Brian Ward threw a career-high eight innings as UConn downed Coastal Carolina 12-6 in an elimination game. Ward improved to 6-1 on the year after allowing three runs on six hits. The Huskies (43-18-1) jumped to an early 4-0 lead after three frames then added six runs throughout the sixth and seventh innings to cruise to the six-run victory.
Mike Nemeth led Connecticut offensively as the senior went 4-for-5 with two RBI. It was his 26th multiple-hit game this season, including his third straight. LJ Mazzilli went 3-for-6 with three runs scored and two RBI, while John Andreoli added three hits as well.
Connecticut 7, Clemson 6
Ryan Fuller hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning that scored LJ Mazzilli to life Connecticut past Clemson 7-6 and force a deciding game in the Clemson Regional. The Huskies and Tigers will play one more time at 7 p.m. ET on Monday night to decide who will move on to the Super Regional round.
Connecticut trailed 4-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning after the Tigers tallied runs in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Catcher Doug Elliott got the Huskies back within a run after belting a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth, cutting the deficit to 4-3.
The score remained that way until the bottom of the eighth inning, when Connecticut scored three times to take a 6-4 advantage. Nick Ahmed tied the game with a bunt single that scored George Springer, and then Tim Martin hit a two-out, two run single to give the Huskies the lead.
Clemson would not go quietly in the ninth, as the Tigers loaded the bases with two outs when Spencer Kieboom hit a two-run single to tie the game at six.
Mazzilli led off the bottom of the ninth with a single for the Huskies, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by John Andreoli. After Mike Nemeth struck out, Fuller hit a two-out single through the hole on the left side of the infield that brought Mazzilli in from second and kept the Huskies alive. The win was the third-straight for Connecticut, giving the team three-straight wins in the NCAA Championship for the first time since 1979.
Arizona 6, Seton Hall 0
Seton Hall (34-25) was eliminated from the 2011 NCAA Championship after suffering a 6-0 loss at the hands of Arizona in the College Station Regional. Arizona starter Konner Wade tossed seven scoreless innings and struck out two on his way to the victory. Brian Gilbert took the loss for the Pirates. Arizona got to Gilbert early with runs in the top of the first and second to give the Wildcats an early 2-0 lead. The score would remain 2-0 until Arizona broke the game open in the top of the fifth, tallying three times. The inning was highlighted by a two-run single by Cole Frenzel. The Wildcats would add a final run in the top of the eighth inning on an RBI single by Alex Mejia.
East Carolina 6, St. John’s 4
St. John's plated three unanswered runs to erase an early 3-0 deficit, but could never take the lead and was defeated by East Carolina 6-4 in the Charlottesville Regional on Sunday. The loss eliminated the Red Storm from the NCAA Championship. East Carolina broke the 3-3 tie on an RBI groundout by Chase McDonald in the fifth inning. The Pirates added insurance runs in the sixth and seventh. Jeremy Baltz was 1-for-3 with two RBI, while Jimmy Brennan and Frankie Schwindel had an RBI apiece to pace St. John's (36-22). Eddie Medina (3-2) took the loss in relief, allowing two runs, one earned, in 3.1 innings of work. Corey Thompson had two RBI to lead East Carolina (41-20), while Brad Mincey (6-4) earned the win after allowing just one run in 5.0 innings of relief.