Storrs, Conn. (April 24, 2010) – No. 19 Connecticut took a pair of games from No. 21 Rutgers in a BIG EAST baseball doubleheader Saturday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field in Storrs, Conn. RU dropped a 6-3 contest in the first game and an 8-7 decision in 12 innings in the nightcap to move to 21-16 overall and 10-5 in the conference. The Huskies moved to 33-7 overall and 13-2 in the league and extended their winning streak to 21 games.
Down 2-0 in the second inning of game two, Jaren Matthews (Teaneck, N.J.) cut the deficit in half with one swing of the bat, taking a Matt Barnes offering over the right-field fence.
The Huskies got a solo home run from Joe Pavone in the bottom half of the frame to re-take the two-run advantage.
RU tied it up in the third thanks to a two-run home run off the bat of Brandon Boykin (Teaneck, N.J.) and pulled ahead one inning later thanks to a Ryan Kapp (Toms River, N.J.) solo home run in the fourth.
The home run barrage continued as Matthews followed a Pat Biserta (Pt. Pleasant, N.J.) single with his second home run of the day, this time a two-run blast in the sixth to give RU a 6-3 advantage.
Freshman Dan O’Neill (Garfield, N.J.) pitched five solid innings but ran into trouble in the sixth as Pavone doubled home a run and RU went to its bullpen for Nathaniel Roe (Plainfield, N.J.). The Huskies got two more runs across in the inning to tie it up at 6-6.
Rutgers went ahead with a run in the ninth as freshman Steve Nyisztor (Toms River, N.J.), coming off the bench for the first time in his 37-game career, came through with a pinch-hit RBI single to put the Scarlet Knights up 7-6.
UConn’s Mike Olt hit a solo home run off Tyler Gebler (Toms River, N.J.), who worked 4.1 innings of relief, in the bottom of the ninth to tie it back up and send the game into extra innings.
The score remained tied into the 12th before Pavone opened the bottom half of the inning with a single and was sacrificed over to second where John Andreoli singled him home for the winning run to give the Huskies the sweep.
Connecticut broke a 3-3 tie with two runs in the fifth en route to a 6-3 victory over Rutgers in game one.
Senior starter Casey Gaynor (Toms River, N.J.) pitched six innings in the opening contest to become the Rutgers all-time leader in career innings pitched. He passed the late Darrin Winston (278.0 innings from 1985-88) as the school’s career leader with 283.1 innings pitched in his school-record 47 career starts. Gaynor also posted four strikes on the afternoon and has 209 for his career – 26 shy of Bobby Brownlie’s school record of 235 strikeouts from 2000-02.
Junior Michael Lang (Dumont, N.J.) took the third pitch of the game over the center-field fence to stake Rutgers out to an early 1-0 lead.
RU also pushed across a run in the second as senior Jarred Jimenez (Monroe, N.J.) doubled to the gap in left-center field and came around to score on a Dan Betteridge (Sewell, N.J.) single to center field three pitches later.
The Huskies put the first two on with a pair of leadoff singles in the bottom half of the second and sacrificed them into scoring position where a Billy Ferriter RBI groundout and a Andreoli RBI single tied it up at 2-2.
Biserta drew a leadoff walk in the third Nyisztor and senior Jayson Hernandez (Belmar, N.J.) recorded a pair of singles to load the bases with one out. Sophomore Russ Hopkins (Piscataway, N.J.) singled to right field to bring home Biserta, but Nyisztor was tagged out at the plate attempting to score from second on the play.
The Huskies tied it back up, however, with a two-out RBI single from Olt in the bottom half of the frame.
Olt delivered again for UConn two innings later to break the tie with a two-out, two-run home run in the fifth to make it 5-3.
The Huskies added a run in the sixth to make it 6-3.
Gaynor, who suffered his first loss in his last eight outings, fell to 5-4 on the season. He posted four strikeouts in six innings of work to become the school’s all-time innings pitched leader. UConn’s Greg Nappo struck out eight and surrendered three runs in seven innings of work to improve to 6-3 on the year.
Nyisztor had a hit in each contest to extend his hitting streak to 19 games, while Hernandez collected two hits in the first game but was held hitless in the second contest to snap a 17-game hitting streak for the senior.
Rutgers lost its first series since early March, snapping a six-series winning streak for the Scarlet Knights.
The Scarlet Knights continue their eight-game road swing with a 3 p.m. game against Delaware in Newark, Del. Tuesday.