Finishing the game is just as important as starting it. Fairfield University’s Baseball (14-20) found this out the hard way Tuesday afternoon after falling to the University of Connecticut 13-8.
The Stags came out swinging hard, gaining a 7-2 advantage by the top of the fourth inning. However, they only added on one more run in the fifth inning, while UConn (21-16) racked up 11 more in the last six innings.
While the loss is certainly a disappointment, Coach Currier still saw an upside to how the Stags played.
“We got out to a good lead. We got some good and timely hits. We took advantage of a few mistakes by them. We did a good job,” said Currier after the game.
If the Stags had kept up their momentum from the first three innings, where they got those timely hits and took advantage of several mistakes made by the Huskies, the game could have turned out differently.
In the first inning the Stag took a 2-0 advantage off excellent running by Tyler Wosleger ’12 and Anthony Hajjar ’13. However, by the top of the third inning, the Huskies had pulled level and the contest was now 2-2.
It was in the third inning where the Stags showed their strength, scoring five runs. Wosleger and Hajjar both came home for their second runs of the game, along with Sebastian Salvo, Ryan Plourde and Billy Zolga getting their first.
The final run for the Stags came in the fifth inning, when Salvo scored his second of the game, off of freshman Sal Ciccone’s single to right field.
Unfortunately for the Stags, the Huskies continued to bat in runs after the fifth inning, scoring four in both the sixth and the eighth, as well as one run in fourth, fifth and seventh.
“They’re a good hitting team. … The discouraging thing is that we certainly made some mistakes, and we also didn’t score a lot of runs past the fourth and fifth inning,” said Currier.
Several young Stags had standout performances, despite the loss. Plourde had the most hits of the team, gaining three hits out of five at-bats throughout the nine innings.
Ciccone also was statistically strong offensively, driving in two runs. But not only was Ciccone strong offensively, he also played his part defensively, contributing to two of Fairfield’s three double plays from second base.
With the game against the Huskies being the only one of the week, Coach Currier took the chance to play as many players as he possibly could. With that in mind, the Stags played six different pitchers.
The game was led off by freshman Jeremy Soule, who pitched 3.2 innings, and allowed seven hits and three runs. Soule was given the no-decision in the contest.
Currier also played Mark Bordonaro (2.0 innings), Gavin McCullough (1.1 innings). Chris Kalica (1.1 innings), Kyle Capaldo (.1 innings) and Ian Tresser (.1 innings).
Currier also thought that one of the downfalls for the Stags was that the Huskies were able to get into the heads of the pitchers he placed on the mound.
“You know they just got to our pitchers that we brought in. We had intended to use four or five pitchers because it’s our only game of the week. We’re playing on the weekend a conference game, so we had to get everybody in that we felt we needed to,” Currier said.
While Currier does say that the Huskies got to the pitchers, the statistics also show that it did go both ways. Combined, the Huskies and the Stags had 21 runs as well as 32 hits.
The big difference came from Huskies relief pitcher David Mahoney, who got the win for UConn, after throwing 3.1 scoreless innings. Fairfield’s Bordonaro took the loss after allowing five runs.
While Currier was obviously disappointed with the loss, he still keeps a positive outlook for the games ahead, especially for their MAAC game against Niagara University this Saturday.
“It’s the conference games that matter the most,” Currier explained. “Getting a game in this Tuesday is important to get us geared up and ready to go for the weekend.” Win or loss, the experience is the most beneficial thing to the Stags moving forward.
The game against the Huskies showed the Stags that consistency throughout a game is what is needed to get a victory, and Stags coach has seen for himself how much consistency pays off.
When the Stags took to the field last Wednesday to play a double-header against Yale, they emerged with two victories and a milestone for their coach: 500 career wins.
Coach Currier is currently in his first season with the Stags, so his wins have been spread across his 23 seasons as a Division 1 head coach. Throughout those 23 seasons, Currier has emerged with a 500-and 490 record.
Prior to being named head coach of the Stags, Currier spent the 2011 season as Farifield’s Associate Head Coach, taking control of the program in 2012 from former head coach John Slosar.
486 of Currier’s 500 wins came from his 22 seasons as the head coach at the University of Vermont where he was the winningest coach in program history.
But Currier is still humble about the achievement and isfocused on the Stags going into some of the last games of the season.
“It certainly felt good to get that 500th win, but you know what, we’re trying to win every game, and doing well. It’s only 14 wins here and we certainly hope to build on that in the future,” said Currier.
If the Stags can take inspiration from their coach, and work hard and stay consistent, it would be a good prediction to say that the Stags can build on the 14 wins they have now, and get Currier on his path to achieving his next milestone.