Former Berlin High School lefthanded pitcher Anthony Marzi had one of the best seasons a pitcher has had in recent UConn baseball history with a sparkling 2.80 ERA. Despite his tremendous pitching, leading the Huskies in innings pitched, he was just 2-8 on the season. UConn could not score runs when Marzi pitched and he lost several one-run games during the season.
Friday, UConn scored four runs in its second round Big East Conference Tournament game against top seed Louisville. Those four runs would be enough for Marzi and the Huskies as UConn improved to 2-0 in the tournament with a 4-1 victory.
Marzi allowed just four hits and one unearned run in a near-complete-game effort and second baseman LJ Mazzilli went 3-for-4 to send Connecticut into the semifinal round of the 2012 Big East Baseball Championship at Bright House Field in Florida.
The Huskies, who reached the semifinal round for the third consecutive season, will face either South Florida Saturday at 1 p.m. The Bulls will have to beat UConn twice to reach the finals.
Marzi, a tough-luck starter who entered the game with a 2-8 record despite a 2.80 earned-run average, worked 8.2 innings, turned in five 1-2-3 innings and retired 13 men in a row between the fifth and ninth innings. He struck out five and walked two before yielding to closer Scott Oberg, who got the final out for his ninth save of the year.
The Huskies took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning, registering four straight two-out hits off of Louisville starter Justin Amlung, the Big East Pitcher of the Year. Ryan Fuller and Tom Verdi both registered RBI singles to put Connecticut on the board.
Connecticut added to its lead in the bottom of the fifth after Mazzilli led off with a double and moved to third on a foul fly to rightfield. Verdi was intentionally walked to put runners on the corners and the Huskies executed a double-steal to make it 3-1. Eric Yavarone brought Verdi in with a base hit to left to give the Huskies a 4-1 lead.
(Some information from www.bigeast.org)
To see an interview with Marzi, go to: