KINGSTON, R.I. -- The UConn baseball team scored six times in the first inning and never looked back to defeat Rhode Island by a score of 11-5 on Tuesday afternoon at Bill Beck Field. The Huskies improve to 33-20 on the year with the win, while the Rams drop to 22-21-1.
The Huskies used a leadoff home run from Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) to spark a six-run first and scored two in the second and three in the seventh to amass double digit runs for the third time in four games. UConn out-hit Rhode Island 18-10 and did not commit an error in the victory, which marked the final midweek regular season contest of the year for Connecticut.
Sundberg went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs from the top of the order, and Willy Yahn (Sharon, Conn.) went 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run. Joe DeRoche-Duffin had two hits, two runs and two RBIs, while Bobby Melley (Barnstablle, Mass.) also notched a three-hit game. Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.) drove in two and Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.) scored twice to round out the offense.
On the mound, Andrew Zapata (Staten Island, N.Y.) got the start and improved to 5-0 on the year with six strong innings, allowing two runs on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts. The Huskies mixed and matched over the final three innings, using seven pitchers to close out the contest.
The Huskies jumped out to a quick lead, scoring six times in the top of the first. Sundberg led off the game with a home run to right field, the first of his career. UConn struck five more times in the frame, with DeRoche-Duffin cracking a two-run ground rule double before RBI singles from Yahn and Daniello later in the inning.
The Rams answered with two runs in the home half of the first, cutting the lead to four before the Huskies stretched it right back to six with two more in the top of the second to go up 8-2. Zapata settled into a groove over the middle innings, facing the minimum between the second and fourth innings before exiting after a scoreless sixth.
UConn posted a three-spot to go up 11-2 in the top of the seventh, as Daniello walked with the bases loaded before a Jon Testani (Monroe, Conn.) sacrifice fly and an error allowed two more to score. William Montgomerie (Lakeville, Conn.) entered for UConn in the bottom of the inning and worked around a leadoff single with a double play ball and a grounder to complete a scoreless inning.
Rhode Island pushed a run across with an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth, before Max Slade (Cheshire, Conn.) retired the lone batter he faced with a ground ball. The Rams added two more with two away in the bottom of the ninth before a fly ball to right ended the contest with the bases loaded.
The Huskies return to action when they kick off a three-game American Atheltic Conference series at Houston on Thursday night. The Huskies and Cougars play at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday before a 1 p.m. start on Saturday in Texas.
UConn is now 113-65-4 all-time against Rhode Island
Jack Sundberg hit his first career home run to lead off the game in his 478th career at-bat
Willy Yahn recorded his 17th multi-hit game of the year and the first four-hit game of his career
Vinny Siena scored twice and now has 61 runs this season, eighth in a single-season in program history