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UConn Rallies For 5-4 Victory Over UCF In Series Opener

Tom Verdi recorded two hits and two RBI in the Husky victory.

May 15, 2014

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STORRS, Conn. - Senior lefty Anthony Marzi fired seven innings of two-run ball as the UConn baseball team rallied for a 5-2 win over UCF on Thursday, May 15 in the first game of a doubleheader. With the victory, UConn improves to 25-28 (8-13 The American) and moves closer to a berth in the inaugural American Athletic Conference Tournament , while the Knights drop to 33-21 (16-6 The American).

Marzi was excellent, allowing just two runs (one earned) in seven innings of work with three strikeouts. The senior lefty was opposed by Eric Skoglund, one of The American's best pitchers in 2014, who pitched in the seventh inning but was tagged with the toss after surrendering five runs on eight hits.

Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.) continued his recent string of hot-hitting, putting together a 2-for-4 afternoon at the plate with a pair of RBI. Jon Testani (Monroe, Conn.) also picked up two hits in three at-bats, scoring the go-ahead run in the seventh inning.

After threatening in the second inning, UConn broke through in the third, scoring the first run of the afternoon. Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.) opened the frame with a walk and advanced to second on a sac bunt. Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) struck out but reached first base on a wild pitch. Next up, Verdi executed a perfect squeeze bunt, pushing the ball past the mound, picking up his seventh RBI of the year and extending his hitting streak to 10 games.

The Knights took the lead in the top of the fourth, putting together three hits and scoring a pair of runs. Matt Diorio delivered the big hit, sending an RBI single into left field with runners on the corners.

Skoglund, four-time Pitcher of the Week in The American, settled into a groove in the middle innings, retiring nine straight Huskies from the third to the seventh.  

UConn reclaimed the lead for good in the bottom of the seventh inning, plating four runs and chasing Skoglund from the game. After Daniello walked and Testanti poked a single through the right side, Sundberg laid down a bunt single, scoring Daniello and tying the game up. Verdi followed with the Huskies' third squeeze play of the afternoon, deadening the ball right on the first base line and picking up his second RBI of the afternoon.

After Blake Davey (Newport Beach, Calif.) walked and Skoglund uncorked a run-scoring wild pitch, Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) blooped an RBI double just inside the left field line, pushing the UConn lead to 5-2 and chasing Skoglund from the game.

UCF added single runs in the top of the eighth and ninth but Anthony Kay (Stony Brook, Conn.) was able to close the door on the Knights, earning his first career save.

Game Notes

-       With a third inning bunt single in game one, Tom Verdi extended his hitting streak to 10 straight games.

-       With three strikeouts, Marzi moved into a tie for fifth-place with Brian Herosian (1971-'73) on UConn's all-time strikeout list with 214.

-       Anthony Kay recorded his first career save in the win. He becomes the fourth Husky this season to boast at least one save.