March 29, 2014
STORRS, Conn. – Despite a pair of home runs in the home opener, the UConn baseball team dropped a 7-5 decision to Rutgers on Saturday morning at J.O. Christian Field. The game originally began on Friday afternoon, but was halted and concluded on Saturday morning. The loss dropped UConn to 11-12 on the year and 1-3 in The American, while Rutgers moved to 9-12 and 2-2.
Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) and Blake Davey (Newport Beach, Calif.) both went yard for the Huskies in the setback, with Melley posting a 2-for-3, two run, two RBI day. Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.) also had a solid day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and two walks.
Anthony Kay (Stony Brook, N.Y.) got the nod on the hill for the Huskies and lasted 4.1 innings, allowing six runs, four earned, on five hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Ryan Fleming started for Rutgers but was removed in the second inning due to injury. Kevin Baxter took over and tossed five innings in relief to earn the win, allowing three hits, three runs, three walks and posting two strikeouts.
The Huskies picked up the game’s first run, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) led off the inning with an infield single, coming around to score after a Rutgers error.
Davey made it a two-run game in the bottom of the third, when he blasted his third home run of the season over the left field wall. Rutgers responded in the next half inning by evening the score at 2-2, picking up a pair of runs with a sacrifice fly and an RBI double.
Rutgers took its first lead in the top of the fifth, when a sacrifice fly and bases loaded walk gave it a 4-2 lead with one away and chased Kay (2-1). A pair of errors allowed RU to scratch across two more runs in the inning, and the Scarlet Knights took a 6-2 lead.
Melley cut the RU lead in half in the bottom of the fifth, when he clubbed a deep two-run home run to right field. Rutgers stretched its advantage right back to 7-4 in the sixth, plating a run with an RBI single.
After the game was suspended in the top of the seventh with two outs, Ryan Radue (Appleton, Wis.) completed his first of three scoreless innings out of the pen. Daniello drove in Melley in the bottom of the ninth with an RBI single to cut the lead to two, but UConn couldn’t muster another run.
Up next, the Huskies and Scarlet Knights will play a doubleheader today. Game one is set for a 10:45 a.m. first pitch, with game two beginning immediately after.