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Daniello and Yavarone Lead UConn Past Harvard, 9-4

Eric Yavarone went 1-for-2 with three RBIs for UConn in the victory

March 18, 2014

Final Stats

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Bryan Daniello and Eric Yavarone each drove in three runs to help the UConn baseball team erase an early deficit and top Harvard, 9-4, on Tuesday afternoon at Chain of Lakes Park Stadium. The win marks the fifth in a row for the Huskies and moves Connecticut to 9-8 on the season, while Harvard drops to 2-10.

After trailing 4-2 after five innings, the UConn bats came alive for seven unanswered runs, including five in the bottom of the seventh. Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.) went 3-for-5 with a home run along with his three RBIs, also stealing two bases. Yavarone (North Haven, Conn.) was 1-for-2 and added a walk, a double and a sacrifice fly to his three-RBI day.

Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) continued his torrid hitting pace with a 3-for-5, RBI day and Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) went 3-for-4 with two runs and two stolen bases. Ryan Sullivan (Hopkinton, Mass.) was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs, while Blake Davey (Newport Beach, Calif.) finished 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

The Huskies gave the ball to Andrew Zapata (Staten Island, N.Y.) for his second start of the year, and the freshman went 6.1 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) and four hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Danny Moskovits made the start for Harvard and lasted five-plus innings, allowing three runs, one earned, on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts.



The Crimson scored the game's first run, capitalizing on a hit batsman and an error on a pickoff attempt to take a 1-0 lead. The lead was short-lived, and the Huskies jumped ahead in the bottom of the inning, with an RBI double from Melley giving Connecticut a 2-1 lead.

Harvard retook the advantage in the top of the third, tying the game before a two-run double gave the Crimson a two-run lead. Zapata began to settle in over the middle innings, firing 1-2-3 innings in the fifth and sixth frames.

Daniello cut the lead to one with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the sixth, chasing Moskovits from the game in the process. After singles for Sullivan and Sundberg against Harvard reliever Shaun Rubin, Yavarone lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to plate Sullivan and tie the game at 4-4.

Max Slade (Cheshire, Conn.) entered for Zapata with one away in the top of the seventh and a runner on first. After the Crimson put runners on the corners, Slade (1-1) picked up a strikeout to end the inning and keep the game tied.

The Huskies opened the bottom of the seventh with three consecutive infield singles, loading the bases for Daniello. The sophomore punched a single through the right side, scoring a pair to give the Huskies a 6-4 lead. Sullivan followed with an RBI double to stretch the lead to three, and Yavarone delivered a two-out, two-run double to give UConn a 9-4 advantage  it took to the eighth.

Slade tossed another clean frame in the eighth, before giving way to Ryan Radue (Appleton, Wis.) for a scoreless ninth inning that cemented UConn's fifth straight win.

UConn is right back in action tomorrow afternoon when it takes on Central Connecticut at Chain of Lakes Park Stadium. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

Game Notes

-          Bryan Daniello's sixth-inning home run was his first of the year and the third of the sophomore's career. He also recorded season-highs with three hits and three RBIs.

-          Jack Sundberg notched his third three-hit day of the year. The sophomore also stole two bases in a game for the second time in 2013.

-          The Huskies stole a season-high five bases in the win.

-          Andrew Zapata has allowed two earned runs and five hits in 13.1 innings pitched as a starter this season.

-          After missing two games, Vinny Siena returned to the UConn lineup and drew a walk to extend his reached-base streak to 26 games, dating back to last season.

-          UConn scored five runs and batted around in the seventh inning, marking the fourth straight game it has batted around in an inning. The Huskies also recorded their fourth straight game with at least 10 hits.

-          Bobby Melley is 10-for-15 (.667) with seven runs and five RBIs over UConn's last four games.