April 26, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The UConn baseball team’s offensive woes continued in a 6-1 loss to No. 12 Louisville on Saturday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium. The setback drops the Huskies to 21-21 on the year and 5-8 in The American, while the Cardinals move to 32-11 and 10-4 in league play.
Connecticut mustered seven hits in the contest, compared to 12 for Louisville, and struggled again with runners in scoring position. Max McDowell (North Huntingdon, Pa.) and Nico Darras (Laguna Beach, Calif.) each had multi-hit efforts for UConn, and Aaron Hill (Groton, Conn.) picked up an RBI.
Jordan Tabakman (Pompton Plains, N.J.) took the ball for the Huskies and was tagged for five runs in 5.1 innings, allowing 11 hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Jared Ruxer (7-1) got the start for the Cardinals and went six-plus innings, allowing a run on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts.
Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) picked up UConn’s first hit of the afternoon in the top of the third, but was erased on a stolen base attempt. After allowing a leadoff single in the bottom of the first, Tabakman (3-2) retired nine Cardinals in a row to keep the game scoreless into the fourth.
Louisville scored the game’s first runs in the bottom of the fourth, using five hits in the frame to push across a pair of scores and take a 2-0 lead. The Huskies tried to respond in the top of the fifth when they loaded the bases, but Ruxer got a ground ball to end the inning.
The Cardinals scored again in the bottom of the fifth, and tacked on two more in the sixth to take a 5-0 lead and chase Tabakman. Callahan Brown (Jupiter, Fla.) entered out of the pen and got out of the inning to keep it a five-run game.
UConn got on the board in the top of the seventh, loading the bases to chase Ruxer before Hill lifted a sacrifice fly to right field and cut the lead to 5-1. Brown tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the frame, giving him 1.2 scoreless innings of work out of the pen.
Louisville scratched across an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth to make it 6-1, a score that stood as final after Drew Harrington, who entered with one away in the seventh, got a big double play ball and a groundout in the ninth to seal his first save.
The Huskies and Cardinals conclude their weekend series tomorrow afternoon. First pitch on Sunday is set for 1 p.m. with Anthony Kay (Stony Brook, N.Y.) set to start on the mound for UConn.
- Max McDowell has hit safely in 10 of his last 13 games and is batting .313 (15-for-48) with a .431 on-base percentage in that stretch.
- Saturday’s game marked the first time Blake Davey and Bobby Melley have each failed to reach base safely in a game they both started in 2014.
- Nico Darras’ multi-hit game was the second of his career.