March 25, 2014
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The UConn baseball team fell in the final at-bat at Hartford, 3-2, on Tuesday afternoon at Fiondella Field. With the loss, the Huskies drop to 11-11 on the season, while the Hawks improve to 10-8.
With the score tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Hartford drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk to pick up the walk-off victory. Eric Yavarone (North Haven, Conn.) tied the game for UConn with an RBI single in the eighth inning, and Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) also drove in a run for the Huskies. Yavarone went 3-for-4 overall on the day, and Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.) had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a run and two stolen bases.
Andrew Zapata (Staten Island, N.Y.) started for UConn and lasted 6.1 innings, allowing two runs on five hits with a walk and a strikeout. Brian Murphy took the ball for the Hawks and was excellent, tossing six innings and allowing one run on five hits with four strikeouts and no walks.
Siena led off the top of the fourth with a single, before Blake Davey (Newport Beach, Calif.) reached via a fielder’s choice. After Davey stole second, Melley punched a single through the right side to drive in the game’s first run. Hartford responded in the bottom of the inning, when Trey Stover knocked a solo home run over the left field wall to even the score at 1-1.
The Hawks jumped ahead in the bottom of the fifth, putting a pair of runners on with two away and scratching one across with a run-scoring single. The Huskies threatened in the top of the seventh, when they posted back-to-back singles with one out, but Hartford reliever Sam McKay worked his way out of the jam.
Zapata allowed a one-out single in the seventh, and was relieved by Max Slade (Cheshire, Conn.). The Hawks put runners on second and third with two away, but Slade got out of the inning with a ground ball to keep it a one-run game. Yavarone tied the game in the next half inning, when he punched a two-out single to center to plate Siena and make it 2-2.
Patrick Ruotolo (Peabody, Mass.) entered for UConn in the bottom of the eighth, and struck out the first batter he faced in a quick 1-2-3 inning. The Hawks loaded the bases against Ruotolo (1-3) in the bottom of the ninth, and Brian Estevez drew a walk to score the game-winning run.
Up next, UConn takes on Central Connecticut State tomorrow afternoon. The game is scheduled to be played at J.O. Christian Field in Storrs, but stay tuned to UConnHuskies.com for potential changes.
- Vinny Siena recorded his seventh multi-hit game of the season, and third in his last five games. Siena has hit safely in 17 of his 20 games this season.
- Siena also stole two bases, the second time in his career he has recorded multiple steals in a game.
- Andrew Zapata allowed five hits in 6.1 innings pitched and is holding opponents to a .167 average against in 26.2 innings this season
- Bobby Melley’s RBI was his team-high 14th of the season.