KENNESAW, Ga. – The UConn baseball team (3-4) picked up its first win over a ranked team this season, taking down Kennesaw State (5-3) by a score of 5-3 on Friday afternoon at Stillwell Baseball Stadium. The win over the Owls, ranked as high as 21st in the national polls, came in the first contest of a three-game weekend series.
The Huskies picked up 11 hits and scored one run apiece in the first, second, fourth, sixth and eighth innings in the victory. UConn stole six bases and connected for three bunt hits, using small-ball from the jump against three Kennesaw pitchers. Jon Testani (Monroe, Conn.) led the Husky attack with three hits and two RBIs, and Jack Sundberg had a pair of hits and two RBIs. Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.) notched three hits and Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.) scored three times.
Carson Cross (Brentwood, N.H.) took the ball for the Huskies and fired 5.2 innings, allowing two runs on six hits with four walks and a career-high 11 strikeouts. He was opposed by KSU’s Jacob Hillyer who also went 5.2 innings, surrendering four runs, two earned, on seven hits with four walks and nine strikeouts.
UConn jumped on the board in the top of the first when Sundberg led off with a bunt single, stole second and scored on an error after a Siena single. KSU tied the contest in the bottom of the frame with a Kal Simmons home run, before Sundberg drove in Daniello with another bunt hit in the top of the second and put UConn up 2-1.
Cross worked out of back-to-back bases loaded jams with a pair of big strikeouts in the first and second, and Testani pushed the Connecticut lead to two runs in the top of the fourth with an RBI double to right field. Testani came through again with an RBI hit in the top of the sixth, stretching the lead to 4-1 with a run-scoring single.
After he retired the first two batters of the bottom of the sixth, Cross was replaced after a solo home run from Corey Greeson. Devin Over (Windsor, Conn.) relieved Cross in the bottom of the sixth and retired the lone batter he faced in the frame, then struck out two after a one-out single in a scoreless bottom of the seventh.
After a Joe-DeRoche-Duffin double with one out in the top of the eight, Sundberg scratched across another run for the Huskies a sacrifice fly to right-center field. Nico Darras entered for the Huskies in the bottom of the frame, and after her surrendered an unearned run in the eighth returned for a scoreless ninth to pick up his first career save.
The Huskies and Owls return to the diamond tomorrow for game two of their weekend series. UConn will look to clinch the series with a 2 p.m. first pitch.
- Carson Cross set a new career-high with 11 strikeouts. His previous high was 10 against St. John’s on April 5, 2013
- Nico Darras tossed the final two innings to pick up his first career save in his third career outing on the mound
- Jon Testani recorded his first multiple-RBI game since March 29, 2014 vs. Rutgers and first three-hit game since March 9, 2013 at Sam Houston State. Testani has multi-hit games in two of his last three contests
- UConn as a team recorded a season-high six stolen bases
- Jack Sundberg now has multiple hits in four-of-seven games this season
- Joe DeRoche-Duffin posted his team-high fourth double in the eighth inning and has hit safely in five consecutive contests