Second-baseman Mike Johnson powered a three-run homer over the left-field fence at Bishop Field today to provide Connecticut with the eventual winning tally as both the Huskies and a downpour ruined Navy's debut in the double-elimination NCAA Northeast Regional playoffs, 5-4.
The game, which had started one hour late while the ground crewpumped water off the field, was delayed for 45 minutes during the first hour of precipitation and, one inning later, was declared over at the end of the sixth after an eight-minute downpour.
The Mids had overcome a slow start to score all four runs in the fourth and fifth and were seemingly beginning to slove Husky fireballer Colin McLaughlin when the game was called.
McLaughlin (11-1) struck out six in as many innings. He scattered five hits, stranding five Mid runners in the first four innings.
Meanwhile, Connecticut (28-10) was picking up an unearned run on the third on right-fielder Steve Komo's bobble and a run-scoring single by AlGarray. The Huskies, who next play the winner of Friday's Nebraska-St. John's contest, picked up another unearned run in the fourth after third baseman Jim Considine reached base on Navy third-sacker Jim Roberts' throwing error and came around on consecutive singles by Rick Tasi and Joe Vincente.
Then Johnson belted Mid starter Paul Kellcher's first pitch out of the park to make it 5-0. It was only the fourth ball hit out of Bishop Field this season.
Johnson gave some of it back to the Mids when his fifth-inning throwing error-which followed a flub by shortstop Tall Noble-allowed two unearned runs to score. Navy picked up another run on a fielder's choice. Although the Mids had no hits in that inning, they benefitted from four walks issued by McLaughlin.
A triple by Terry Deitz followed by Bob Ravener's single in the sixth made it 5-4.