STORRS, Conn. - The UConn baseball team sent 15 men to the plate in a nine-run eighth inning to top UCF, 15-8, in game two of a three-game series on Saturday at J.O. Christian Field. With the win, Connecticut pushes its winning-streak to four-straight and moves to 28-22 overall, while UCF falls to 25-27.
The Huskies clinched their second-straight regular season series vs. the Knights and have won five of their last six games against the Florida-based foes.
Down 6-0 entering the home half of the fifth inning, Connecticut matched a single-season high with three home runs and mashed out 16 hits in the victory.
Senior OF Joe DeRoche-Duffin (Santa Ana, Calif.) moved into a tie for fifth on UConn's single-season home run list, blasting his 16th long ball of the year in the victory, while junior 2B Aaron Hill (Groton, Conn.) went 4-for-4 with four runs scored, a walk, and three RBIs. Senior Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) launched his eighth homer of the year, while Willy Yahn (Sharon, Conn.) tallied the game-winning RBI with a two-run shot in the eighth.
Freshman RHP Randy Polonia (4-3) picked up his fourth win of the season, tossing 2.1 inning of scoreless relief, while redshirt-freshman CJ Dandeneau finished off a clean top of the ninth to secure the team's 11th conference win of the year.
For the second-straight day, UCF jumped out to an early advantage, scoring three runs in the top of the third on four hits. The Knights added a run in the fourth on an RBI single off the bat of Eli Putnam.
Connecticut bounced back with three runs in the home half of the sixth, cutting the deficit to 6-3. After Hill and Willy Yahn (Sharon, Conn.) opened the frame with singles, Melley ripped a ball off the wall in left to plate a run. Daniello pushed across another run two batters later with a single up the middle before freshman John Toppa (Portsmouth, R.I.) added an RBI with a sharp groundout to first base.
After UCF added two runs in the top of the sixth, Connecticut answered with a Yahn sac fly in the home half of the inning to cut the Knights' advantage to 8-4. Next up, Melley drew Connecticut closer with a two-run shot into the hedges in right.
The Huskies scored nine times in the eighth inning, stringing together six hits and sending 15 batters to the plate in the frame.
The programs conclude the three-game series on Sunday, May 15 with an 11:30 a.m. first pitch. Prior to the game, the Huskies will honor their seven seniors with a ceremony scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m.