Feb. 28, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Aaron Hill (Groton, Conn.) delivered the go-ahead base hit in a two-run 10th inning, helping the UConn baseball team defeat Lipscomb, 6-4, at Ken Dugan field on Friday night. The Huskies have now won four consecutive games and improve to 4-3 in 2014, while the Bisons fall to 2-8.
Patrick Ruotolo (Peabody, Mass.) earned his first win in a Husky uniform, throwing 3.0 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, allowing just two baserunners and striking out four Bison batters.
Jordan Tabakman (Pompton Plains, N.J.) got the nod for his third start of the season and became the first Husky starting pitcher to work into the seventh inning. The righty finished with 6.1 innings pitched, allowing four runs (two earned), six hits, two walks and striking out four. Ian Martinez-McGraw earned the start for Lipscomb, tossing 7.0 innings of three-run ball, surrendering six hits, six walks and fanning six UConn batters.
The Bisons scratched across a run in the home half of the first inning, taking advantage of a leadoff double from Jonathan Allison. After Allison advanced to third on a wild pitch, Drew Adams singled to right field, plating Allison and recording his fifth RBI of the season.
Lipscomb extended its lead in the bottom of the third when Grant Massey connected for his first home run of the season, sending a 2-0 pitch over the left field wall to give Lipscomb an early two run lead. It was the second round-tripper allowed by Tabakman in 2014.
UConn cut into the Bisons' lead in the fifth when Hill picked up his first collegiate RBI with a ground ball to third base, driving in Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.), who opened the inning with a triple to deep right center field.
Connecticut took the lead in the seventh, grabbing a pair of runs in the frame. A hit-by-pitch and a walk by Hill put runners on first and second with one out. After Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.) pinch ran for Ryan Sullivan (Hopkinton, Mass.), Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) grounded out sharply to the right side, advancing the runners to second and third. With Eric Yavarone (North Haven, Conn.) batting, Martinez-McGraw unleased a ball in the dirt that skipped away and allowed Verdi to score.
After Yavarone worked a work, Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.) extended his hitting streak to 12 games when he blooped a double down the left field line, scoring Hill and giving the Huskies their first lead of the game, 3-2.
Lipscomb responded in the bottom of the seventh, plating two runs of its own. With runners on first and second and one down, Max McDowell fired a pickoff attempt to first base that sailed into right field and allowed Chad Shannon to score, tying the game at three. Nick Rome followed up with a fielder's choice to shortstop that allowed Griffin Moore to slide in under the tag of McDowell and give the Bisons a 4-3 lead.
Connecticut answered again in the top of the eighth inning when Blake Davey (Newport Beach, Calif.) opened the inning with a single to right and came around to score his second run of the season on a wild pitch by Tyson Ashcraft.
The Huskies took the lead for good in the top of the 10th when Hill delivered a two-out RBI single that scored McDowell, who reached base on a hit-by-pitch to open the frame. After Hill advanced on a wild pitch, Sundberg stepped into the box and deposited his third hit of the afternoon into left field that scored Hill and gave the Huskies a 6-4 lead.
Ruotolo came on pitched effectively for the Connecticut bullpen which has held opponents scoreless in 17.1 consecutive innings.
The Huskies and Bisons return to Dugan field tomorrow for the second game of the three-game set. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.
Vinny Siena extended his hitting streak to a team-best 12 games with a seventh inning double.
Aaron Hill picked up his first two collegiate RBIs, including the go-ahead score in the 10th inning.
Jack Sundberg now has four consecutive multiple-hit games, after collecting three hits tonight.
UConn is now 4-1 (.800) when committing one or fewer errors this season.
The Connecticut offense has recorded at least 10 hits in each of the last four games.