Brian Ward allowed four hits and struck out six in the win
April 21, 2014
STORRS, Conn. - Brian Ward tossed a one-run complete game to propel the University of Connecticut baseball team to a 9-1 victory over in-state rival Central Connecticut State University on Monday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field. UConn evened its record at 19-19 with the win, while Central drops to 13-15 in 2014.
Ward (Milford, Conn.) recorded UConn's first complete game of the season in a dominant performance, allowing four hits with four walks and six strikeouts in his nine innings of work. His nine-inning effort was the Huskies' first complete game since Anthony Marzi (Berlin, Conn.) finished off Notre Dame in the 2013 BIG EAST Tournament Final.
At the dish, UConn was paced by a 3-for-3, three RBI day from Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) and a 1-for-3, two RBI performance out of Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.). Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.) and Aaron Hill (Groton, Conn.) each scored twice for the Huskies in the win, as UConn out-hit CCSU 9-4.
Connecticut manufactured three runs in the bottom of the third, using the game's first two hits and a HBP to get on the board. Hill reached on a hit-by-pitch and advanced to third on a seeing-eye single from Sundberg. With one out, Verdi sent a looping liner into centerfield, knocking in Hill and earning his second double of the season. Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.) then picked up and RBI groundout, before Verdi scampered home on a wild pitch.
The Blue Devils were able to grab one back with two hits in the ensuing inning, but Ward (3-2) limited the damage with a pick-off at second base.
UConn picked up three more in the fourth, courtesy of a bases-clearing triple from Sundberg. After two consecutive errors by Central Connecticut loaded the bases, Sundberg lifted a deep fly ball to right field that popped out of the glove of the right fielder and rolled to the wall. It was the first triple of Sundberg's career.
In the home half of the seventh, UConn again pushed three runs across, headlined by an two-run single from Melley to left center field. Ryan Sullivan (Hopkinton, Mass.) later smacked a double to deep right center that plated Melley and extended the Husky lead to 9-1 to cap the scoring.
Next up, the Huskies hit the road when they travel to Earl Lorden Field for a Tuesday showdown at UMass. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.
- Blake Davey has now reached base safely in 16 straight games but snapped his team-high 10 game hit streak.
- Brian Ward set a new career-high with 9.0 IP The senior LHP had previously recorded 8.0 IP in two games. He is now tied for 10th in program history with 214.1 innings pitched.
- The complete game was UConn's first since Anthony Marzi delivered a complete game win in the BIG EAST Tournament Championship game.