CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Junior LHP Anthony Kay (Stony Brook. N.Y.) struck out a career-best 10, while the Husky offense pounded out 12 hits as the UConn baseball team downed No. 12 Missouri St., 12-4, on Friday afternoon at Raymond C. Hand Park in Clarksville, Tenn. With the victory, Connecticut evens up at .500 at 2-2, while MSU suffers its first defeat to drop to 3-1.
The win marks the program's first win over a ranked opponent since it defeated then-No. 15 UCF on April 11, 2015 and also is the first time it scored at least 12 runs since May 8, 2015 vs. Cincinnati (12).
Four Huskies recorded multiple-hit games, including junior DH Tyler Gnesda (Laguna Nigel, Calif.), who finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs, five RBI and his first homer in a Connecticut uniform. Senior co-captain Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) went 2-for-4 with three runs and a pair of RBI in the victory.
Kay (1-0) earned his first win of the season, going 6.0 innings, allowing three runs (zero earned) on just three hits to go along with 10 strikeouts. His counterpart Jordan Knutson (1-1) took the loss after surrendering seven earned runs in 2.2 innings of work.
For the fourth-straight game, the Huskies struck first, scoring a pair in the bottom of the first. After Melley singled with two down, fellow upperclassman Joe DeRoche-Duffin (Santa Ana, Calif.) doubled, setting the table for Gnesda, who picked up two RBIs with a single to center.
The Huskies sent 10 men to the plate in a five-run third inning. Yahn led off the frame with a solo shot to left center before Melley and Gnesda worked walks. After junior 2B Aaron Hill (Groton, Conn.) picked up two RBIs with a single, freshman John Toppa (Portsmouth, R.I.) registered his first career RBI with a bases-loaded walk. Senior co-captain Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) broke the game open with a sharp single through the right side, chasing Knutson from the game.
Missouri St. cut into the Husky lead in the top of the sixth when Alex Jefferson blasted a three-run homer following a two-out Connecticut error. The Bears added one in the seventh on a sac fly but senior reliever Devin Over (Windsor, Conn.) limited the damage, working out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam with a strikeout and inning-ending flyout.
Melley gave the Huskies a pair of insurance runs in the home half of the eighth, sending a two-out double down the left field line and pushing the Connecticut lead to 9-4. Two batters later, Gnesda put the finishing touches on an excellent afternoon, blasting a three-run shot to right.
The Huskies continue weekend play on Saturday, Feb. 27 when they play host-school Austin Peay at 4:30 p.m.