STONY BROOK, N.Y. - The UConn baseball team scored five runs in the first inning and never trailed in an 8-4 victory over Sacred Heart on Wednesday at Joe Nathan Field. The contest, the first midweek outing of 2015 for the Huskies, improves them to 7-6 on the year while the Pioneers fall to 0-9.
UConn went up 5-0 thanks to a two-run home run from Max McDowell (North Huntingdon, Pa.) and an RBI triple from Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.) in the first inning. McDowell finished 2-for-5 with a run and two driven in and Daniello was 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run. Joe DeRoche-Duffin (Santa Ana, Calif.) went 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored, while Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) went 2-for-3 with two runs and two stolen bases from the leadoff spot.
On the mound, Andrew Zapata (Staten Island, N.Y.) made his first start of the year and allowed four runs in 3.2 innings with four strikeouts and a walk. In his relief, four Huskies combined for 5.1 scoreless innings from the Husky bullpen to keep SHU off the board from the fifth through ninth innings.
UConn got on the board early, with five runs in the bottom of the first. After Sundberg and Siena reached to lead off the contest, a double steal set up runners in scoring position for a Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) sacrifice fly. The next batter, McDowell crushed a 2-0 pitch deep over the center field fence to give the Huskies a three-run lead. After an infield single, Daniello roped an RBI triple to right-center field and scored on a wild pitch to give Connecticut a 5-0 lead.
Sacred Heart answered back in the top of the fourth, scoring four runs to chase Zapata in the frame. Ryan Radue (Appleton, Wis.) entered for the Huskies with two away got a ground ball to keep the lead at 5-4. The Pioneers threatened again in the next inning, but Radue struck out the side to strand a pair of baserunners and keep UConn ahead.
Devin Over (Windsor, Conn.) came on for the Huskies in the top of the sixth and fired a 1-2-3 inning before UConn extended its lead in the bottom of the frame. With two away, Sundberg notched an infield single and Siena reached on an error before Blake Davey (Newport Beach, Calif.) rocked a two-run double to right-center field that put the Huskies up 7-4.
Over tossed another clean frame in the seventh, and DeRoche-Duffin stretched the lead to four with a towering home run to left-center field. Nico Darras (Laguna Beach, Calif.) fired an electric 1-2-3 eighth inning with a pair of strikeouts before Patrick Ruotolo (Peabody, Mass.) closed out the win with a clean ninth.
Up next, the Huskies play Furman, USC Upstate and Michigan State from March 13-15 in the BB&T College Baseball Series at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C. First up is Furman on Friday, March 13 at 5 p.m.
- Max McDowell's first-inning home run was his third of the year and eighth of the junior's career
- Jack Sundberg recorded the 12th multi-steal game of his career
- Ryan Radue has not allowed a run in five appearances, with 5.1 scoreless innings on the year
- Radue also picked up his first career win in the contest
- The UConn bullpen went 5.1 innings and did not allow a run
- UConn improves to 16-3 all-time against Sacred Heart with the victory