The Fairfield University baseball team had their home opener against the University of Connecticut on Wednesday, March 29 in front of a packed crowd. Alumni Baseball Diamond, where the Stags call home, has been newly renovated and looks better than ever. There were lots of fans out to support the Stags as everybody has high expectations for the team this season. Last year, they were Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season champions en route to their first MAAC title in 34 years as they advanced to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament. This year, the Stags are the favorite in the MAAC and are striving for another championship.
In-state rival, UConn, gave Fairfield all they could handle. Through the first seven innings, the Huskies led the game as the score was 3-1 and easily reachable for Fairfield. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Fairfield got a couple of hits and ended up with the bases loaded and zero outs. This was their real chance to come back and take hold of the game.
Sophomore Jack Gethings stepped up to the plate for the Stags and hit a pop up, leading to out number one. Then Kevin Radziewicz ‘18 stepped up to the plate and grounded into a force out at home. Things were quickly going downhill for the Stags but they still had bases loaded and a chance to get some runs in with two outs.
Senior outfielder Troy Scocca then stepped up to the plate. Everybody in the stands went quiet, knowing this was probably going to be the most pivotal at-bat in the game. Scocca then proceeded to pop out to end the inning. The UConn fans in attendance let out a loud cheer. The momentum had shifted to UConn after that sequence of events.
UConn went on to win the game 6-1. Fairfield wasn’t able to pull this one out because there were many missed opportunities and missed momentum shifts. Fairfield looks to improve going into April and the heart of conference play.
Head coach Bill Currier was disappointed in the outcome of the game, especially in the seventh inning when they had bases loaded with zero outs. “We just didn’t execute well in that situation at all, we’ve been struggling with some big hits with some guys on base a little too much this year,”Currier said. He hopes that the team can eliminate their mistakes and pick up the pieces to be prepared for tomorrow’s game, March 31, against the Hartford Hawks. The Stags fall to 7-12 on the season after this loss to the Huskies.
Fairfield is deep in their pitching this year and look to utilize their strength moreso against Hartford. They have a home-and-home with them this upcoming weekend with Fairfield traveling to Hartford on Saturday, April 1 and Hartford traveling to Fairfield for a doubleheader on Sunday, April 2.
First pitch against Hartford is set for 12:15 p.m. at Alumni Diamond on Sunday. The second game of the doubleheader is scheduled to have first pitch at 2:30 p.m.