BOCA RATON, Fla. – The UConn baseball team dropped its season opener at Florida Atlantic, 16-5, on Friday night at FAU Baseball Stadium. The contest was the first of 2015 for both squads, and was the start of a three-game weekend series.
FAU scored three times in the first five innings to take an early lead, before scoring 11 runs in the sixth to take a 14-run lead. The Huskies battled late and put up five runs after the seventh inning began, but could not overcome the big lead for the Owls.
Carson Cross (Brentwood, N.H.) made the start for UConn in his first outing since the 2013 NCAA Blacksburg Regional and was solid, tossing five innings and allowing two earned runs off eight hits with nine strikeouts and a walk. Kyle Miller took the ball for the Owls and fired six shutout frames with 10 strikeouts, allowing only one hit.
UConn recorded its first hit in the second inning with a Max McDowell (North Huntingdon, Pa.) single, but the junior backstop was promptly caught stealing to end the threat. The Owls struck for the game’s first run with a sacrifice fly in the third inning, and went up 3-0 after RBI hits in the fourth and fifth frames.
Cross left following the fifth inning, and the Owls jumped all over the UConn bullpen with 11 runs in the bottom of the sixth. FAU capitalized on a series of Connecticut errors, wild pitches, balks and walks in the inning to score four of their runs in the frame unearned off of four different Husky relievers.
Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.) got the Huskies into the score column in the top of the seventh when he smacked a two-run double to break up the FAU shutout. Joe DeRoche-Duffin (Santa Ana, Calif.) put up another run for the Huskies with a solo home run in the eighth, and Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) followed two batters later with an RBI double. McDowell tacked on another run in the inning when he drove in Sundberg with a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 16-5, which stood as the final score.
The Huskies and Owls continue their weekend series tomorrow afternoon with a 4 p.m. start at FAU Baseball Stadium. UConn left-hander Anthony Kay (Stony Brook, N.Y.) is slated to take the ball against FAU’s Drew Jackson.
- Bryan Daniello’s two-run double in the seventh was UConn’s first extra-base hit of the year. Daniello had 17 extra-base hits in 2014
- Joe DeRoche-Duffin hit a home run in his first appearance as a Husky
- The 16 runs allowed by UConn mark the most since allowing 18 against Rhode Island in March of 2011 in a tournament in South Carolina