On Tuesday, April 14, the Fairfield Stags played host to the University of Connecticut Huskies, who are currently ranked first in the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association polls with a unanimous selection.

UConn’s victories can be attributed to sophomore right-hander Andrew Zapata. This season, he currently holds a 3-0 record. Zapata led the Huskies to victory on the mound after throwing seven scoreless innings where he only allowed four hits and struck out five.

“He threw well, he threw hard, and had control,” said head coach Bill Currier. “I thought we had a chance to get him there in the middle innings, but we didn’t.”

The Stags sent out righty Kyle Dube ‘17 to face off against Zapata. Both pitchers posted two scoreless innings. The Huskies started the third inning with a leadoff double off the bat of sophomore Aaron Hill. Hill was not done, as he took off from second base to steal third. UConn had a runner on third with no outs. Dube was able to get the next batter out and was set to face junior Vinny Siena, who holds a .300 batting average. Siena was able to push in the run as he hit an RBI groundout to third, giving them a one-run lead.

As the fourth inning began, Fairfield made a pitching change and brought in Tucker Panciera ‘15, the most consistent pitcher for the Stags in their previous series against Rider, where he allowed just one earned run in 4.1 innings pitched. Panciera walked Blake Davey, who then stole second base. After a wild pitch by Panciera, Davey advanced to third. UConn had a runner on third with no outs. Panciera gave up another man on base via a walk, and the Huskies now had two runners on base. Junior Bryan Daniello came to the plate for UConn and grounded out to second and pushed in another run for the Huskies. Panciera retired the next batter, but then allowed a RBI single to Aaron Hill, who finished the game 3-4. UConn now held Fairfield 3-0.

“They didn’t get many hits because we made errors, had walks, and a couple of hit batters and that’s how they got their first five runs,” said Currier.

Fairfield batters continued to struggle against Zapata who dominated all Stags that stepped up to the plate. Zapata pitched seven innings and in four of the seven innings, he was able to retire the batters in order. The Stags sent out Joe Randall ‘16 to start the fifth. After a strikeout, Siena, of the Huskies, reached first on an error by the shortstop followed by a walk. The Huskies had runners on both first and second bases, and after an error by the Stags, Siena moved to third. Davey stepped up to the plate and reached base on a fielder’s choice where Siena scored. UConn finished the inning leading 4-0. UConn continued to play well as they scored two more runs in the sixth and another in the ninth to win the game 7-0. With this loss, Fairfield has now lost five consecutive games.

“You’ve got to play clean baseball against a good team,” said Currier. “Soon as you make some errors, hit some batters and walk them, you’re asking for some runs to be scored and it’s just what they did.”

The Stags gave up a total a six walks and committed four errors.

“Let’s forget today and go back tomorrow and try to get ready for the weekend,” said Currier.

The Stags are set to travel to take on Wagner on April 15.

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