CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) _ About this time last year, Connecticut

baseball coach Jim Penders tried to talk recent graduate Greg Nappo

into leaving. The Los Angeles Dodgers wanted to draft the Huskies’


“I said, ‘Go,”’ Penders recalled. ‘“You might never have this

chance again. You’ve done about everything you can do here.”’

Not quite, said Nappo, who had redshirted in 2008 and still had

another year of eligibility. He hadn’t won a championship at UConn.

So he returned for another year.


Nappo got his second championship of the year Monday night as

the Huskies rolled past Clemson 14-1 in the deciding game of the

Clemson Regional. The Huskies (45-18-1), winners of the Big East

Conference regular-season championship, will play at defending

national champion South Carolina in the super regionals.


It was an especially big night for UConn, playing in only its

second regional since 1994. Outfielder George Springer and pitcher

Matt Barnes were taken in the first round of the Major League



Nappo (10-2) allowed only one run in 5 2/3 innings in his second

start in three days.

“I was willing to do it as long as I had my arm attached,”

Nappo said.

Nappo’s teammates floored the Tigers (43-20) with three runs in

the first inning, five in the fifth and six more in the eighth.

UConn’s first three batters got hits and the host Tigers looked

rattled on defense.

“We played loose, with absolutely no fear,” Penders said.

“There was no way we were going to lose tonight.”


Clemson starter Kevin Pohle (5-2) recorded only one out before

he was knocked out.

“It was one of those games where it started going in one

direction and it’s very hard to stop it,” Clemson coach Jack

Leggett said.


The victory was UConn’s fourth straight since losing to Coastal

Carolina in Friday’s opening game.


Ryan Fuller had three hits, including a three-run homer, with

five RBIs for the Huskies. Billy Ferriter had three hits, including

two triples. Tim Martin had three hits and LJ Mazzilli scored three



Richie Shaffer’s homer in the second produced Clemson’s only



(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)



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