GREENVILLE, N.C. -- The UConn baseball team got a three-run home run from Vinny Siena in a ninth-inning rally to pull close late, but ultimately fell by a score of 5-4 at East Carolina on Saturday afternoon at Clark-LeClair Stadium. The loss evens a weekend American Athletic Conference series and drops the Huskies to 29-19 on the year and 8-9 in league play, while the Pirates improve to 30-18 and 10-7 in conference.
Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.) homered with two away in the top of the ninth of ECU starter Reid Love, who went the distance for the Pirates. The Huskies fell behind 2-0 early and went down 5-1 after the Pirates scored three in the fifth, but rallied for three in the ninth to make it a one-run game.
Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) had a four-hit day for UConn including the 200th hit of his career, joining Siena as the second player to join the 16-member 200-hit club for the Huskies this season. Love allowed four runs in nine innings off nine hits with a walk and four strikeouts, while UConn starter Anthony Kay (Stony Brook, N.Y.) tossed seven frames and allowed five runs (three earned) off eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
East Carolina took an early lead, scoring a run in the first on what appeared to be a double play ball. With two on and one away, Kirk Morgan hit a ground ball to first, but Melley's throw from first to second hit off a Pirate helmet and skipped into center field to allow an unearned run to come home. The Pirates grabbed another in the bottom of the second with an RBI single to take a 2-0 lead.
UConn got on the board in the top of the third, cutting the lead to one with a sacrifice fly from Davey after a walk and a one-out single. East Carolina responded in the bottom of the fifth with three more, using a solo home run and a two-run single from Love to take a 5-1 advantage.
The Huskies attempted to rally in the top of the eighth with a Melley single and a Blake Davey (Newport Beach, Calif.) double with one out, but Love stranded the runners on second and third with a pop-up and a ground ball. Kay was relieved by Trevor Holmes (Ashland, Mass.) in the bottom of the eighth, and Holmes fired a scoreless frame to keep it a four-run game.
Love remained on for East Carolina in the ninth as the Huskies attempted to rally. Willy Yahn (Sharon, Conn.) and Aaron Hill (Groton, Conn.) led off the inning with base hits, before Love got the next two Huskies. With two away in the frame Siena launched a home run to left field and cut the ECU deficit to one. The next batter was Melley, and after a home run-length shot went just foul outside of the right field pole Love induced a ground ball to end his complete game performance.
The Huskies and Pirates conclude their weekend series tomorrow afternoon in a contest moved up a half hour to a 12:30 p.m. start.
Bobby Melley recorded his 200th career hit with a third inning single, becoming the 16th player in UConn history to reach the 200-hit mark. He is the second Husky to reach the mark in 2015, joining Vinny Siena
Melley recorded a four-hit game, his second of the year, a day after a three-hit outing in game one
Blake Davey notched his league-leading 18th double in the eighth inning
Vinny Siena scored twice and leads The American with 54 runs scored on the year, including six this weekend