STORRS, Conn. - For the 10th time in 13 seasons under head coach Jim Penders, the UConn baseball team reached the 30-win plateau, topping URI, 14-4, in its home finale at J.O. Christian Field on Tuesday. With it's sixth-straight win, Connecticut moves to a season-best eight games over .500 at 30-22, while Rhode Island drops to 24-24 overall.
With its 14-run output, Connecticut notched its eighth double-digit scoring effort of the year and improved to 21-9 when scoring before its opponent. The Huskies conclude their home record at 14-5, including a 7-1 mark against non-conference foes.
Sophomore 3B Willy Yahn (Sharon, Conn.) notched his fourth four-hit game of the season, finishing 4-for-5 with a pair of RBIs and two runs scored, while freshman catcher Zac Susi (Southington, Conn.) reached base safely in all five plate appearances, notching two doubles and drawing three walks while scoring a season-best four runs. Additionally, senior SS Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.) went 3-for-5 with two RBIs in his final game at J.O. Christian Field.
Andrew Zapata (4-1) picked up the victory, tossing 5.0 inning of two-run ball with a season-best five strikouets. The Husky bullpen allowed just two hits in 4.0 innings of work in relief of the Husky junior righty.
Connecticut sent 10 men to the plate in a six-run first inning, collecting five hits and taking advantage of a URI error. Daniello got the scoring started with a two-run double down the right field line before coming home on a booted ball by the shortstop. After Tyler Gnesda (Laguna Beach, Calif.) extended his hitting streak to nine-straight with a single to left, Susi sent a two-run double into the right before Hill pushed the lead to 6-0 with an RBI single off the glove of the second baseman.
After URI cut into the Husky lead with a pair of runs into the top of the third, UConn answered with two runs of its own in the home half of the third. After three-straight walks, Yahn ripped a two-run single into left field to extend the Connecticut advantage to 8-2.
The Huskies scored three more in the fourth, highlighted by RBI base knocks off the bat of Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) and Hill. Melley put an exclamation point on the game in the sixth, launching a two-run shot into the hedges in right field for his ninth HR of the season.
The Huskies round out the regular season with a three-game road trip at USF on May 19-21. A full weekend preview will be available on uconnhuskies.com on Wednesday.
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