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Blue Hose Dispatch UConn in Series Opener, 6-4

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CLINTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College baseball team took the series opener from the visiting Connecticut Huskies on Friday afternoon, 6-4.

PC improves to 12-7 while UConn falls to 9-5. The two teams meet on Saturday at Fluor Field in Greenville for a 6 p.m. contest before playing on Sunday in Clinton at 1 p.m.

The Blue Hose took a 3-1 lead in the second inning and steadily built a 6-2 advantage to survive two UConn runs in the eighth.

Beau Dees (Blenheim, S.C.) picked up his third win of the season to move to 3-1 thanks to a three-hit, two run performance over six and one-third innings. Michael Trebendis (Fayetteville, Ga.) earned the save by securing the final out of the game following two and one-third innings from Michael Ricchi (McKinney, Texas).

Aaron Preston (Goose Creek, S.C.) led PC with a three-for-four effort and four Blue Hose tallied one RBI each. Nate Chong (Duluth, Ga.) and Brad Zebedis (Rock Hill, S.C.) both hit solo home runs.

The Huskies came out firing as LJ Mazilli hit a solo home run in the top of the first to put UConn ahead, 1-0.

Zebedis pulled PC even by launching a towering solo home run of his own to left field, tying the game at 1-1 heading to the second.

The Blue Hose grabbed two runs in the bottom of the second to take their first and only lead of the day. With Preston on third base, Jay Lizanich (Greer, S.C.) beat out a bunt single to score the outfielder and give PC a 2-1 advantage. A peculiar play then led to PC’s third run of the game as Derek Long (Alpharetta, Ga.) made contact and the ball died in front of home plate. Catcher Max McDowell’s throw to first base sailed into right field and Lizanich sped around the bases. Rightfielder Jon Testani threw home, but the attempt skidded past the plate as Lizanich scored and PC led by two, 3-1.

UConn manufactured one run in the top of the third via walk, sacrifice bunt, wild pitch and sacrifice fly to cut PC’s lead in half.

PC turned double plays in the fourth and sixth to keep the Huskies at bay. Lizanich made a slick double play in the top of the sixth, snagging a hard line drive and catching the runner at first for the second out.

Two more runs in the sixth put the home side ahead by three. A Preston double scored Brandon Paul (Augusta, Ga.) before Preston scored from third on a passed ball.

Chong knocked a solo shot to left field to lead off the seventh inning as PC led, 6-2.

UConn added a pair of runs in the eighth and appeared to be assembling a comeback bid before a 6-4-3 double play ended the frame. A throwing error scored one run and an Eric Yavarone RBI single marked the second. With two on, Bobby Melley hit a 2-2 pitch from Ricchi right to Ryan Hagan (Sugar Hill, Ga.), who flipped the ball to a covering Billy Motroni (Goose Creek, S.C.) at second. Motroni completed the play to Zebedis and PC kept a two-run lead.

The Huskies threatened once more in the ninth, stringing together two singles to bring Trebendis into the game. The freshman walked one to load the bases before inducing a Mazzilli flyout to seal the 6-4 win.

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UConn............... 101 000 020  -  4  6  4      (9-5)
Presbyterian College 120 002 10X  -  6  8  1      (12-7)
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Pitchers: UConn - MARZI, Anthony; BUTLER, Pat(7) and McDOWELL, Max. Presbyterian College - DEES, Beau; RICCHI, Michael(7); TREBENDIS, Michael(9) and LONG, Derek.
Win-DEES, Beau(3-1)  Save-TREBENDIS, Michael(2)  Loss-MARZI, Anthony(1-3)  T-2:29  A-356
HR UCONN - MAZZILLI, LJ (2).
HR PC - CHONG, Nathan (3); ZEBEDIS, Brad (3).
Weather: Mid-60s, bright and clear

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CLINTON, S.C. Women's basketball's Janie Miles (Clemson, S.C.) and men's basketball's William Truss (Vestavia Hills, Ala.) were named Presbyterian College's Female and Male Athletes of the Week for their accomplishments on the court for the week ending December 9.