Feb. 23, 2013
ORLANDO, Fla. – After allowing runs in the first and second innings, the University of Connecticut baseball team battled back to score 10-straight runs on the way to a 13-8 victory over Troy at the Wawa’s Weekend Classic, hosted by UCF, on Saturday afternoon. The win puts the Huskies at 2-3 on the season, while the loss knocked the Trojans to 5-1.
Redshirt-sophomore right-hander Carson Cross (Exeter, N.H.) settled in after allowing two runs on five hits in the first two innings to earn the win in a career-long seven-inning, career-high seven-strikeout performance. Between the third and sixth innings, Cross (1-0) sat down 12-straight hitters. He gave up six hits and walked just two in the effort.
UConn fought back to tie the game in the second on a two-run, two-out single to center by freshman third baseman Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.). The Huskies took a 5-2 lead in the third as freshman first baseman Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) doubled and scored on a home run by sophomore left fielder Eric Yavarone (North Haven, Conn.). Junior shortstop Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.) then made it back-to-back with the sixth jack of his career.
The Connecticut offense erupted for five more runs in the fifth inning as it batted through the order for the second time in the game. Freshman designated hitter Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.) had the big hit in the inning with a two-run single with two outs.
Daniello added a two-run home run, the fourth of the weekend for the Huskies, in the seventh inning. Coming off the bench, he went 2-for-3 with four RBI and drew a walk. Siena went 3-for-6 and picked up his fourth multi-hit game and extended his modest hitting streak to five games to start his career.
Yavarone finished the day 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, while senior second baseman LJ Mazzilli (Greenwich, Conn.)
went 2-forf-5 with a run scored and a stolen base.
As a team, Connecticut reach base eight times via the walk and stole five bases, led by freshman Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.), who came off the bench to swipe two bags.
For the game, UConn outhit the Trojans, 15-12. Troy cut into the lead late in the game with six runs off the Connecticut bullpen, including a two-run home run by senior third baseman Logan Pierce in the ninth inning. Pierce went 3-for-5, while juniors Danny Collins and Trae Santos each added two RBI.
Junior lefty Shane McCain went just two innings in the start for the Trojans and struck out three, while allowing a pair of runs on three hits. In relief, senior righty Ryan Brady (1-1) took the loss after giving up three runs on three hits and two walks in just 0.2 innings pitched.
The Huskies return to action tomorrow against Texas Tech at 11:00 am.
- 13 runs is the most in a game for UConn since scoring 13 in a win at Fairfield on April 17, 2012.
- Carson Cross has set a career-high in innings pitched in all four of his career starts.
- UConn holds a 3-0 all-time advantage against Troy.
- In the first five games of his two seasons, Eric Yavarone is batting .454 (15-for-33) with two home runs.
- Vinny Siena has recorded four multi-hit games, while reaching base with a hit in all five games played.
- UConn is 2-0 this season when playing on Saturday's; both Carson Cross starts.
- UConn registered 15 hits for the first time since game two of a doubleheader against Rutgers on April 20, 2012.
- Bryan Daniello's four-RBI game was the first for UConn since Tom Verdi hit a grand slam against Charleston on February 25, 2012.