STORRS, Conn. – Junior RHP Andrew Zapata (Staten Island, N.Y.) twirled six scoreless innings to propel the UConn baseball team past Yale, 8-2, in its home opener on Tuesday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field. With the win, Connecticut jumps to 6-4, while the Bulldogs drop to 0-4 overall.
The victory was UConn’s first home-opening win since the 2013 campaign and also improved the program to 42-21-1 all-time against their in-state foes in a series dating back to 1943.
Zapata (2-0) allowed just two hits with a pair of walks and four strikeouts over six innings of work, while Mason Kukowski (0-2) was charged with the loss after allowing four earned runs in 2.0 innings.
At the dish, freshman C Zac Susi (Southington, Conn.) collected three hits in four at-bats, including a two-run single in the seventh. Sophomore 3B Willy Yahn (Sharon, Conn.) finished 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored, while junior DH Tyler Gnesda (Laguna Nigel, Calif.) tallied three RBIs and score twice in the victory.
The Huskies struck first, scoring three times in the bottom of the first inning. After Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) walked and Yahn reached on an error, Gnesda laced a double into the gap in left, scoring two. Later in the inning, senior Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.) added an RBI single to push the advantage to 3-0.
Connecticut tacked on a run in the second after Yahn notched a two-out RBI with a single into centerfield.
The score remained 4-0 until the home half of the seventh when UConn pushed across four runs on four hits. After a Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) RBI double, Susi capped off an excellent afternoon with a ringing single over the glove of the second baseman to score Daniello and Gnesda.
Next up, the Huskies embark on an eight-game trip to California, beginning the stretch with a neutral game contest vs. William & Mary on March 11. Check back with uconnhuskies.com for a complete weekend preview.