MIAMI - The UConn baseball team clinched its third-straight weekend series with a 5-3 victory at Florida International on Saturday night at FIU Baseball Stadium. The Huskies improve to 6-5 on the season with the victory while the Panthers drop to 7-7.
In a game delayed 155 minutes due to rain in Miami, the Huskies scored one run in five of the first six innings and held a 9-6 edge in hits to win game two of the weekend series. Max McDowell (North Huntingdon, Pa.) led the UConn attack with two hits and two RBIs, while Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) went 1-for-3 with an RBI, two runs and three stolen bases.
Anthony Kay (Stony Brook, N.Y.) started for UConn and improved to 2-1 on the year, tossing 6.0 innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Andres Nunez took the loss for FIU after going 4.0 innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits and four walks with four strikeouts.
Sundberg helped to manufacture the game's first run, drawing a walk to lead off the game and stealing second. After he moved to third on a Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.) single, the junior scored on an RBI groundout from Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) to put UConn up 1-0.
The Panthers tied the contest in the bottom of the first, capitalizing on a passed ball with an unearned run coming via a Josh Anderson RBI single. Sundberg came through again in the next half inning, putting the Huskies back on top at 2-1 with an RBI single. The Husky center fielder was right in the middle of a scoring play again in the top of the fourth, stealing his third base of the day before he scored on a two-out single from McDowell to stretch the UConn lead to two.
Connor Buckley (Stonington, Conn.) recorded a one-out double in the top of the fifth, marking his first hit in a UConn uniform. He came home to score later in the inning after a wild pitch on a Jon Testani (Monroe, Conn.) single, stretching the Husky lead to 4-1. The Panthers put a pair on with one away in the bottom of the frame, but Kay worked out of the jam with back-to-back punch-outs.
McDowell drove in another run for the Huskies in top of the sixth, stretching the lead to four when he plated Siena with a sacrifice fly to right field. The Panthers answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning, using a sacrifice fly and an RBI single to cut the lead to 5-3.
Kay left following the sixth and was relieved by Devin Over (Windsor, Conn.), who tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh. Nico Darras (Laguna Beach, Calif.) came on for the eight and retired two Panthers before Patrick Ruotolo (Peabody, Mass.) entered with runners on the corners and two away. Making his first appearance of 2015, Ruotolo struck out FIU's Edwin Rios on three pitches to end the Panther threat in the eighth.
Ruotolo got into trouble in the bottom of the ninth when FIU put runners on second and third with one away, but the sophomore picked up a strikeout before he ended the contest with a groundout to finish the four-out save.
UConn goes for the sweep at FIU tomorrow afternoon. First pitch from Miami is now set for 2 p.m. and Jordan Tabakman (Pompton Plains, N.J.) is scheduled to start for the Huskies.
- Jack Sundberg set a new career-high with three stolen bases. Sundberg now has 11 games with at least two steals in his career
- Max McDowell recorded his fourth multi-hit game of the season
- Connor Buckley's fifth-inning double was the first hit of the junior transfer's UConn career. Buckley reached based three times and scored two runs in his first start of the season
- FIU scored a run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth, snapping a streak of 20.1 innings for Anthony Kay without allowing an earned run
- Kay did not walk a batter and struck out seven, and along with Carson Cross yesterday UConn starting pitchers have 22 strikeouts and no walks through two games at FIU
- Patrick Ruotolo recorded his first save of 2015 in his first appearance of the year. He posted two saves as a freshman last season