STORRS, Conn. -- The UConn baseball team used a strong performance from its six-member senior class on Senior Day to finish off a sweep of Cincinnati in a 9-4 victory on Sunday afternoon. The Huskies improve to 32-20 and 11-10 in American Athletic Conference play on the year, while the Bearcats drop to 15-35 and 6-15 in league action.
The Huskies were paced by seven strong innings on the mound from senior Jordan Tabakman (Pompton Plains, N.J), who allowed three earned runs on four hits with three walks and a career-high seven strikeouts. At the dish, classmates Blake Davey (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Jon Testani (Monroe, Conn.) combined for five RBIs to lead an 11-hit UConn attack.
UConn took a 3-0 lead with a three-run Davey home run in the first before Cincinnati jumped ahead with a three-run top of the third. The Huskies answered by tying the contest in the fourth and went ahead with a Testani single in the sixth before a four-run seventh broke the game open. Patrick Ruotolo (Peabody, Mass.) relieved Tabakman for the final two innings and struck out five to close out the victory.
In addition to the strong senior performances offensively, Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) went 4-for-5 with two doubles and Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.) had two hits and scored twice. Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.) added a pair of RBIs and Joe DeRoche-Duffin (Santa Ana, Calif.) notched two runs.
After Davey's three run blast in the first paced UConn to an early lead, the Bearcats put up an error-aided four-spot to take a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the third. Melley pulled the contest back even later in the inning with a RBI double to right that plated Siena.
Tabakman settled back in after a tough third inning, keeping Cincinnati off the board until Testani rocked a single to left to plate DeRoche-Duffin and make it 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth. The Huskies added four insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh, scoring on a bases-loaded hit batsman and an RBI groundout for Testani before Daniello stroked a two-run triple down the right field line.
Seniors Connor David (Cheshire, Conn.) and Eric Yavarone (North Haven, Conn.) were used as pinch-hitters in the eighth inning, allowing UConn to use every senior save Friday starter Carson Cross (Brentwood, N.H.) on Senior Day. Ruotolo closed his second inning of work with two strikeouts in the ninth inning to seal the sweep.
Up next, the Huskies conclude midweek play with a road trip to Kingston, R.I. on Tuesday afternoon. UConn and Rhode Island will square off at Beck Field for a 3:30 p.m. first pitch.
UConn improved to 17-9 all-time against Cincinnati
The Huskies swept a conference weekend series for the first time this season
Over his last 12 games, Bobby Melley is batting .453 (24-of-53) with seven doubles and 15 RBIs
Jordan Tabakman recorded a career-high seven strikeouts