April 22, 2014
AMHERST, Mass. – The UConn baseball team erased an early deficit to top Massachusetts by a score of 8-5 on Tuesday afternoon at Earl Lorden Field. The win pushed the Huskies back over .500, now at 20-19 in 2014, while the Minutemen dropped to 8-24.
Callahan Brown (Jupiter, Fla.) made his first career start on the mound for the Huskies and went 5.1 innings, allowing four runs, two earned, with a walk and four strikeouts. Tim Cassidy got the nod for the Minutemen and lasted 4.1 innings, surrendering six runs on five hits with two walks and a strikeout.
Offensively, UConn was paced by Blake Davey (Newport Beach, Calif.) who went 2-for-3 with a home run, a walk, three RBIs and three runs scored. Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) also had a big day, going 2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs. Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.) scored twice and Max McDowell (North Huntingdon, Pa.) drove in two runs in the victory.
The Minutemen got on the board with a pair of runs in the first, capitalizing on two UConn errors with a two-run single off the bat of Adam Picard. The Huskies jumped on top for the first time in the third, using a two-out rally to score three times. Verdi started the run with a single up the middle and after Daniello was hit by a pitch, Davey singled to left to plate Verdi. An error moved both runners up, and Melley stroked a double left field to give Connecticut a 3-2 lead.
UConn built on its lead with three more runs in the fifth. Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) led off the inning with a walk and stole second, scoring on an RBI single from Daniello. The next batter was Davey, who cracked his ninth home run of the year over the right field wall and put the Huskies up four.
Brown (1-0) cruised through the middle innings, retiring 10 in a row before a leadoff walk in the bottom of the sixth. An RBI double for the Minutemen cut UConn’s lead to 6-3 and chased Brown in favor of Max Slade (Cheshire, Conn.). After retiring the first batter he faced, Slade uncorked a wild pitch that allowed another run to score before ending the sixth with a strikeout.
The Huskies widened their lead in the next half inning, when McDowell drove in two runs with a bases-loaded double. UMass loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh with no outs against Slade to chase him in favor of Patrick Ruotolo (Peabody, Mass.), who came on and struck out the side to escape the jam.
Picard took Ruotolo deep in the bottom of the eighth, cutting UConn’s lead back to three at 8-5. With two on and two out, David Mahoney (Colchester, Conn.) entered for the Huskies and induced a pop-up to end the threat. Mahoney remained on for the ninth, sealing his fourth save of the year to close out Brown’s first win.
Up next, UConn plays its third midweek game in a row when it travels to in-state rival Quinnipiac tomorrow afternoon. First pitch with the Bobcats is set for 3 p.m.
- Callahan Brown picked up a win in his first collegiate start.
- Davey also recorded his 19th multi-hit game of the season, and he has reached base safely in 17 consecutive contests.
- Bobby Melley recorded multiple RBIs for the second straight contest and ninth time in 2014.