May 4, 2014
MEMPHIS – The UConn baseball team exploded for 13 runs in the first three innings en route to a 13-2 seven-inning mercy rule win at Memphis on Sunday afternoon at FedExPark. The victory clinched a weekend conference series with the Tigers and moved the Huskies to 23-24 (7-10 The American) in 2014. Memphis drops to 25-24 on the year and 6-12 in conference action.
The Huskies scored three runs in the first inning, four in the second and six in the third to take a huge early lead and never looked back. Max McDowell (North Huntingdon, Pa.) had a monster day at the dish, going 4-for-5 with a career-high five RBIs. Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) and Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.) each drove in three runs to help pace the Connecticut attack, which pounded out 14 hits in the win.
Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) and Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.) sparked the Husky offense from the top two spots in the order, going a combined 4-for-6 with three walks and six runs scored. The series win marked the second of the year for UConn in conference play, and gave them a crucial two-game edge in the league standings on Memphis, currently sitting at seventh in the league.
UConn gave the ball to Anthony Kay (Stony Brook, N.Y.), who tossed six innings of two-run ball, with eight hits, three walks and two strikeouts. Dylan Toscano (3-4) started for Memphis and was tagged for seven runs in 1.1 innings, allowing five hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
The Huskies struck fast, scoring thrice in the first inning. Sundberg led the game off with a double, and Verdi was hit by a pitch to set the table. Toscano got the next two batters, but McDowell came through with a two-out, two-run single to center field. Two batters later, Siena came through with another two-out RBI hit, singling to plate McDowell and make it 3-0.
UConn put up four more runs in the top of the second, loading the bases before Melley cleared them with a double to the left-center field gap. McDowell followed with another double off the wall in left to bring Melley home and stretch the lead to seven.
The Tigers got a run back with an RBI groundout in the bottom of the second, but the Huskies responded with six more in the next half inning. Verdi and Blake Davey (Newport Beach, Calif.) each drew bases-loaded walks to plate two, before McDowell got the lead to double digits with a two-run single. Siena followed two batters with another two-run single, and UConn took a 13-1 advantage.
Memphis picked up a run with an RBI fielder’s choice in the bottom of the fifth, before Kay (4-4) completed his day with a scoreless sixth inning. Max Slade (Cheshire, Conn.) entered for UConn in the seventh, and tossed a clean frame to seal the mercy-rule victory.
The Huskies will have nearly a week off before returning to action with a conference doubleheader on Saturday, May 10 at home against nationally-ranked Houston. First pitch of game one from Storrs is set for 1 p.m.
- The Huskies scored in each of the first three innings for the first time in 2014. It was also the third time this season UConn has scored in any three consecutive innings.
- Max McDowell had a career-high five RBIs on the day, most for any Husky in a game this year. McDowell is 20-for-55 (.364) with 15 RBIs over his last 14 games after the first four-hit game of his career.
- UConn is now 12-1 when Jack Sundberg records multiple hits in a game and 14-7 when he scores a run.
- Vinny Siena recorded his 11th multi-hit game of the year and third in UConn’s last four contests.
- Tom Verdi went 5-for-11 with three walks, three stolen bases and five runs scored in the three games at Memphis.