STORRS, Conn. -- Carson Cross recorded his 20th career victory and eclipsed the 200-career strikeout mark in a 10-1 victory over Memphis on Friday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field. The win was the first of an American Athletic Conference weekend series and improved the Huskies to 28-15 on the year and 7-6 in conference, while the Tigers dropped to 27-13 and are also 7-6 in league action.
Cross (Brentwood, N.H.) rebounded from an early solo home run to fire seven quality innings, allowing a run on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts. He became the fifth player in program history with 20 career wins and eighth all-time with 200-plus strikeouts. The Huskies trailed 1-0 early but scored twice in the second, fourth and fifth innings before a four-run seventh to break the game open.
The Husky bats pounded out 14 hits on the day, led by Joe DeRoche-Duffin (Santa Ana, Calif.) with a 3-for-4, five-RBI performance with a double and a home run. Blake Davey (Newport Beach, Calif.) had three hits and drove in two with a pair of doubles, while Max McDowell (North Huntingdon, Pa.) went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) and Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.) also had multi-hit efforts for Connecticut.
With one away in the top of the first, Zach Schritenthal deposited a 3-1 pitch from Cross over the right field wall to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. The Huskies answered in the bottom of the second with a two-run DeRoche-Duffin double to take their first advantage.
UConn tacked on two more in the bottom of the fourth, putting two runners on before a fly ball off the bat of Jon Testani (Monroe, Conn.) was booted to bring in a pair of runs. DeRoche-Duffin made it 6-2 an inning later, following a Melley single with a two-out, two-run opposite field home run to right.
Cross dealt through the middle innings, allowing only five baserunners between the second and seventh innings. After stranding two runners in the sixth, Cross finished his outing with a 1-2-3 top of the seventh. UConn brought home four more runs in the bottom of the frame, with a two-run double from Davey before a McDowell RBI double and a DeRoche-Duffin RBI groundout.
Sam Nepiarsky (Orange, Conn.) entered for the Huskies in the eighth inning, making his first career weekend appearance. Nepiarsky had no trouble in his two-inning appearance, dispatching all six batters he faced including a strikeout.
The Huskies and Tigers continue their weekend series tomorrow with a 1 p.m. first pitch in Storrs. Anthony Kay (Stony Brook, N.Y.) will take the ball for UConn against Memphis' Dylan Toscano.
Carson Cross recorded his 200th career strikeout in the first inning, the eighth Husky to achieve that feat
Cross also notched his 20th victory, the fifth player in program history to do so
Vinny Siena has reached base safely in 34-straight contests and has an 11-game hitting streak
UConn scored in double-figures for the third-straight game and has out-scored its last three opponents by a margin of 40-5