STORRS, Conn. -- The UConn baseball team dropped an 8-7 decision to Holy Cross on Wednesday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field. The Huskies fall to 28-18 on the year with the loss while the Crusaders improve to 23-24.
The Huskies went ahead in a back-and-forth contest with a two-run Willy Yahn (Sharon, Conn.) home run in the seventh inning. Holy Cross battled back with a run in the eighth before a two-run, two-out single in the ninth to re-take the lead and held it.
Yahn went 2-for-4 and scored three times, while Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) had a pair of hits and three RBIs. Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.) went 3-for-5 and stole two bases, becoming the 15th player in UConn history to eclipse 200 career hits in the contest.
On the mound, Andrew Zapata (Staten Island, N.Y.) took the ball and lasted 4.1 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Phil Reese was the first of seven pitchers for the Crusaders and tossed five innings of three-run ball with a walk and a strikeout.
The Crusaders took an early lead in the top of the first frame, using a leadoff single before a two-out double from Connor Perry to take a 1-0 advantage. The Huskies answered quickly in their half of the first, when Siena singled and stole second before an error moved him to third to score on a Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) sacrifice fly.
Holy Cross used another RBI double to jump back ahead in the second, going up 2-1. UConn was able to answer again in the bottom of the frame when Sundberg stroked a two-run single to center to give the Huskies their first lead. The Crusaders continued their early hit parade in the third when Perry blasted a solo home run to right to tie the game again.
The Crusaders chased Zapata with a one-out double in the fifth and took a 5-3 lead before Devin Over (Windsor, Conn.) came on and stranded a pair of runners with a ground ball. UConn was again able to rally to tie in the bottom of the sixth. Yahn led off the inning with a walk and came in to score on a wild pitch. Later in the frame, Sundberg cracked an RBI single up the middle to push the score to 5-5.
After another perfect frame from Over in the top of the seventh, the Huskies took the lead in the bottom of the frame. Max McDowell (North Huntingdon, Pa.) drew a one-out walk, and two batters later Yahn cranked a two-run home run over the left field wall to give UConn a 7-5 lead.
The Crusaders got a run in the top of the eighth, scoring on an error to make it a one-run game. Over started the ninth to try and close it out, but was chased after a walk and a double to lead off the inning. Trevor Holmes (Ashland, Mass.) came on and nearly got out of the jam with a pop up and a strikeout, but Anthony Critelli punched a two-out, two-run single through the left side to give Holy Cross an 8-7 lead.
Up next, the Huskies head south for a league series at East Carolina. UConn and ECU will play three at Clark-LeClair Stadium, beginning with a Friday night showdown at 6:30 p.m.
UConn is now 42-20-2 all-time against Holy Cross
Vinny Siena became the 15th player in UConn history to record 200 career hits with a first-inning single
Willy Yahn's go-ahead home run was his second of the year and first since his first career start on March 18
The Huskies concluded a nine-game home stretch with a 4-5 record