Feb. 22, 2014
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The UConn baseball team rang out 12 hits and capitalized on five errors to defeat George Mason by a score of 11-2 on Saturday night at TicketReturn.com at Pelicans Ballpark. The game was UConn’s second at the Caravelle Resort’s Baseball at the Beach Tournament. Connecticut moves to 2-3 on the season with the win, while George Mason falls to 5-2.
Senior LHP Anthony Marzi (Berlin, Conn.) got the nod for the Huskies, making his second start of the 2014 campaign and finished with a line of five innings pitched, six hits, two runs, two walks and six strikeouts. Tyler Kardas (0-1) made the start for George Mason and didn’t last long, surrendering six runs, two earned, and five hits with a walk and two strikeouts in three innings of work.
Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) and Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) paced the 12-hit UConn attack with three base knocks apiece. Melley went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run, while Sundberg was 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs. Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.) went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs and three runs, and Eric Yavarone (North Haven, Conn.) chipped in with a 2-for-3, two-RBI outing. All nine UConn starters either scored a run or drove one in on the day.
The Huskies started the scoring in the home half of the first inning after Siena laced a two-out single up the middle to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, later advancing to second on a wild pitch by Kardas. Melley followed with a single to right field to score Siena and put the Huskies up 1-0 early.
UConn grabbed three runs in the third inning, taking advantage of two George Mason errors. Aaron Hill (Groton, Conn.) opened the inning with a walk and advanced to second on an infield single by Sundberg. Max McDowell (North Huntingdon, Pa.) laid down a bunt that Kardas fired over the head of the first baseman, allowing Hill to score and putting runners at second and third.
Siena followed with a sharp ground ball to shortstop that was booted, scoring Sundberg and pushing the Connecticut lead to 3-0. Melley then picked up his second RBI of the night with a groundout to second base. The Huskies tacked on two more runs when Yavarone cracked a double into the right field gap and came around to score after Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.) singled to right to pick up his first RBI of the season.
The Patriots clawed back in the fifth, scoring two runs on a two-out double to deep center field by Blaise Fernandez but stranded runners at first and second when Marzi (1-1) induced a ground ball to shortstop to end the threat.
Connecticut responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame, after a Nico Darras (Laguna Beach, Calif.) sac fly scored Siena, who reached on an error. Melley then singled to right field and advanced to third on two passed balls, crossing the plate on a sac fly from Yavarone to cushion the UConn lead to 8-2. The Huskies tacked on two more runs in the sixth, with McDowell knocking in Hill with an RBI groundout before Siena scored Sundberg via an RBI single.
Patrick Ruotolo (Peabody, Mass.) came out of the pen and tossed a pair of scoreless innings for UConn in the sixth and seventh, striking out a pair in the sixth before getting a big double play ball to avert any damage in the seventh. Sundberg made it an 11-2 lead for Connecticut with an RBI single in the eighth, his third hit of the day and first RBI of the season.
Mason threatened by loading the bases in the top of the eight, but Ryan Radue (Appleton, Wis.) worked out of the jam with a strikeout in his first inning of work. Devin Over (Windsor, Conn.) relieved Radue in the ninth and secured a scoreless frame to lock down the win.
UConn concludes its time in Myrtle Beach with a 10 a.m. match-up against Illinois tomorrow morning. Senior southpaw Brian Ward (Milford, Conn.) will make his second start of the year on the mound for the Huskies.
- Vinny Siena extended his hitting streak to 10 games, dating back to last season, with a first-inning single. He has also reached base safely in 16 consecutive contests.
- Jack Sundberg went 3-for-5 for his second consecutive three-hit game.
- All nine UConn starters either scored a run or drove one in on the day.
- Siena also stole a base in the fifth inning, UConn’s first steal of the season.
- The 11 runs for UConn are a season-high and the most since posting the same amount at Bryant on April 13, 2013. The Huskies eclipsed double-digits in runs five times last season.
- Anthony Marzi fanned six batters in five innings of work and now has 159 career strikeouts, placing him 18th in UConn history. His 216.1 innings also place him 10th all-time.
- George Mason’s two-run double in the fifth ended a 14.0 inning scoreless streak for the UConn pitching staff.
- The UConn bullpen has now tossed nine innings without allowing a run in two games at the Baseball at the Beach Tournament.