April 8, 2014
BROOKLINE, Mass. - The UConn baseball team used strong pitching and timely early hitting to pick up a 2-0 win at Northeastern on Tuesday afternoon at Friedman Diamond. The win moves UConn to 14-16 on the year, while NU drops to 13-16.
Andrew Zapata (Staten Island, N.Y.) started for UConn and tossed six-plus innings, allowing no runs on two hits with two walks and three strikeouts to earn the win. Patrick Ruotolo (Peabody, Mass.) came out of the pen to help preserve the shutout and was brilliant, recording a three-inning save with seven strikeouts. Nick Cubarney got the start for Northeastern and went four innings, allowing two runs on four hits with three walks and a strikeout.
Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) and Aaron Hill (Groton, Conn.) provided the UConn offense, with RBI hits in the third and fourth innings, respectively. Melley went 2-for-4 overall on the day to lead the Huskies to an 8-3 edge in hits on their fellow Huskies.
UConn scored the game's first run in the top of the third, when Melley doubled to the left-center field gap and plated Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.). Connecticut manufactured another run in the next half inning, when Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) drew a two-out walk and stole second before scoring on an RBI single from Hill.
After allowing a double to NU's first batter, Zapata retired the next 14 men he faced before surrendering another double in the bottom of the fifth. Northeastern was held quiet until the bottom of the seventh, when it drew back-to-back walks to lead off the frame.
The walks chased Zapata for Ruotolo out of the pen, before NU loaded the bases with no outs. Ruotolo worked out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout which allowed UConn to hold its 2-0 lead. Ruotolo, who struck out the side in the eighth, stayed on for the ninth and fanned two more to pick up his first career save.
Up next, UConn continues midweek play and returns home tomorrow afternoon to take on Brown. First pitch between the Huskies and Bears at J.O. Christian Field is set for 3:30 p.m.
- Andrew Zapata picked up his second win of the year and dropped his team-best ERA to 1.19. He also lowered his batting average against to .144, also tops on the squad.
- Patrick Ruotolo picked up his first career save with three scoreless innings. The freshman also set a new career-high with seven strikeouts.
- The shutout was UConn's third of 2014, including two in Zapata's five starts.
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