BOCA RATON, Fla. – For the second straight contest, the UConn baseball team fell in the final at bat and dropped a 5-4 decision to Florida Atlantic on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Owls sweep the weekend series and improve to 3-0 on the year while the Huskies drop to 0-3.
UConn jumped out to a 3-0 lead, which it held until the seventh inning before FAU tied the contest against the Husky bullpen. Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.), who reached base in all five of his plate appearances, gave Connecticut a 4-3 lead with a two-out RBI single in the top of the ninth before the Owls scored twice in the bottom of the inning to walk off with the victory.
Daniello went 2-for-2 in the contest with three walks, while Blake Davey (Newport Beach, Calif.) had two hits, including a solo home run. Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) went 2-for-4 with a run, a walk an RBI and two stolen bases out of the leadoff spot.
On the mound, Jordan Tabakman (Pompton Plains, N.J.) made his first start of the season was solid, tossing six shutout innings and allowing four hits and three walks with a pair of strikeouts. Opposing him for FAU was Robbie Coursel, who lasted 3.2 innings and gave up three runs on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
UConn scored the game’s first run when it manufactured a run in the third inning. Sundberg led off the inning with a walk, stole second and moved to third on a groundout before he came home to score on a Bobby Melley RBI groundout. In the next at-bat, Davey cracked a solo home run opposite-field over the right field fence to give UConn a 2-0 advantage.
The Huskies tacked on another run in the top of the fourth when Sundberg singled home Joe DeRoche-Duffin (Santa Ana, Calif.), who recorded a one-out single earlier in the inning. The Owls put a pair on with one away in the top of the sixth, but Tabakman ended his outing with a fly ball and a strikeout to keep it a three-run game.
The Owls struck for three runs in the top of the seventh against the UConn bullpen, before Trevor Holmes (Ashland, Mass.) came on with the bases loaded and two away and recorded a huge strikeout to keep the contest tied. Holmes returned for the Huskies in the bottom of the eight with another scoreless frame.
In the top of the ninth, Max McDowell (North Huntingdon, Pa.) recorded a two-out double and came home to score on a clutch single to right field from Daniello. Trailing 4-3 heading into the bottom of the ninth, FAU got a bases loaded walk before a walk-off single from Ricky Santiago sealed the contest and the weekend sweep.
The Huskies return to action on Saturday, Feb. 21 for the first of a three-game series against Siena in Port St. Lucie, Fla. First pitch on the 21st is set for 4 p.m.
- Bryan Daniello reached base safely in all five plate appearances on Sunday
- Blake Davey hit his first home run of 2015 after slugging 10 last season. He finished the weekend 6-for-13 (.462) at the plate
- After six shutout innings from Jordan Tabakman, UConn starting pitchers have compiled a 1.50 ERA in 18.0 innings with 17 strikeouts against five walks this season
- Jack Sundberg’s two stolen bases give him three this season after finishing top-20 nationally with 27 swipes in 2014