Feb. 14, 2014
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (Feb. 14, 2014) – Sophomore Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) hit his first career home run in a two-run first inning but the UConn baseball team dropped an 8-2 decision to Ohio State on Friday evening at Charlotte Sports Park. The contest was the season opener for both clubs, and was the first game of the 2014 Snowbird Classic.
Jordan Tabakman (Pompton Plains, N.J.) got the start on the mound for the Huskies and lasted 5.2 innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits while striking out six and walking two. Greg Greve went six innings for Ohio State, allowing a pair of runs on five hits with six strikeouts and no walks. Greve settled down after allowing a pair of early runs, and retired the last 11 Huskies he faced. He was relieved by Travis Lakins, who picked up the save by throwing three innings, allowing one hit and striking out three.
Melley went 1-for-4 for UConn in the win, hitting a solo home run in the first inning. Max McDowell (North Huntingdon, Pa.) also drove in a run for the Huskies with an RBI single in the first, going 1-for-3 with a walk on the day. Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.) led off and went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored, and Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.) was 1-for-3 with a sacrifice.
The Huskies wasted no time getting on the board in the first. Daniello singled to lead off the game, advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt from Siena. McDowell knocked him in with an RBI single, before being picked off attempting to take third on a wild pitch. Melley erased that error in the next at-bat, cracking a solo home run to right field to give UConn a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Tabakman kept UConn’s hot start going in the bottom of the first, striking out the first three hitters he faced to retire the side in order. OSU picked up its first hit in the bottom of the second, but 4-6-3 double play erased the threat.
The Buckeyes got on the board and jumped ahead in the third inning, loading the bases before Jacob Bosiokovic cleared them with a grand slam to center field. The home run gave OSU a 4-2 lead, which it took to the fourth. Tabakman rebounded in the fourth with a pair of strikeouts, and worked around a two-out single thanks to a running catch by Griffin Garabedian (Hamden, Conn.) to keep it a two-run game.
Ohio State loaded the bases again in the bottom of the fifth, but Tabakman coaxed a groundout to end the danger. Craig Nennig tacked on to the Buckeye lead in the sixth with an RBI single, and Andrew Zapata (Staten Island, N.Y.) came on to relieve Tabakman with two away in the inning and OSU leading 5-2. OSU tacked on another run off Zapata, charged to Tabakman, to stretch its lead to four, before the freshman picked up his first career strikeout to end the inning.
Lakins relieved Greve in the top of the seventh, picking up where he left off by setting the Huskies down in order. Zapata worked out of a one-out jam with runners on second and third with a strikeout and a groundout to end the seventh, ending his debut with 1.2 innings, a strikeout and no earned runs allowed.
Daniello broke a streak of 16 consecutive retired by Ohio State pitchers with a two-out walk in the eighth, but Siena flew out to end the threat. The Buckeyes tacked on two more runs in the bottom half of the inning to make it 8-2, before a single from Ryan Sullivan (Hopkinton, Mass.) in the top of the ninth gave UConn its first hit since the third inning. Lakins shut the door, however, working out of a two-on, one-out jam to seal the victory.
UConn returns to action at the Snowbird Classic tomorrow morning when it takes on Indiana State. First pitch with the Sycamores is set for 11:30 a.m. and Anthony Marzi (Berlin, Conn.) will take the hill for the Huskies.
- Bobby Melley recorded his first career homerun in his first at-bat of 2014. The first baseman did not record a round-tripper in 240 at-bats last season.
- The Huskies fall to 2-9 in season openers under current head coach Jim Penders.
- With a third inning single, second baseman Vinny Siena has now reached base safely in 12 consecutive games dating back to 2013. The sophomore also holds a six-game hitting streak.
- Andrew Zapata pitched 1.1 innings without allowing an earned run in his collegiate debut, striking out two.
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