May 21, 2014
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The seventh-seeded UConn baseball team (26-30) was done in by a six-run second inning and fell, 7-1, to second-seeded UCF (35-22) on Wednesday at Bright House Field. The game was UConn's first in Pool B play at the 2014 American Athletic Conference Baseball Championship.
UCF took an early lead with a run in the first inning and scored six more in the second, using four hits and a UConn error in the frame to take a 7-0 lead. Andrew Zapata came out of the pen for five scoreless innings of relief, but the Huskies could only muster one run against UCF starter Zach Rodgers, who fired a complete game for the victory.
Blake Davey (Newport Beach, Calif.) drove in UConn's lone run in the setback, driving in Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) in the sixth inning. Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.), Max McDowell (North Huntingdon, Pa.) and Jon Testani (Monroe, Conn.) each recorded hits as well for the Huskies.
Anthony Marzi (Berlin, Conn.) took the ball for Connecticut and labored through two innings, allowing all seven runs, four earned, on five hits with three walks and strikeouts. Zapata (Staten Island, N.Y.) finished his relief outing with five scoreless innings, allowing only one hit with four walks and a strikeout. For UCF, Rodgers went the distance and scattered five hits, surrendering a run on a walk and five strikeouts.
The Knights took an early lead in the top of the first, after Dylan Moore drew a leadoff walk and came around to score on Jamez Vasquez's sacrifice fly. UCF pounded out four hits to score six more runs in the bottom of the second, with Derrick Salberg's two-run single and a Vasquez RBI double the big hits in the frame.
Zapata entered for UConn out of the pen in the bottom of the third, and silenced the UCF bats with three scoreless innings before the Huskies broke through. In the top of the sixth, Sundberg picked up a one-out single for UConn's first hit since the second. Two batters later, Davey cracked a double to deep right field to score Sundberg and cut the lead to 7-1.
Zapata continued his strong relief outing with two more clean frames after the UConn run, but Rodgers continued to stifle the Huskies bats late into the contest. Ryan Radue (Appleton, Wis.) entered for UConn out of the pen in the bottom of the eighth and fired a scoreless inning with a strikeout, but the Huskies went down in order in the ninth as Rodgers concluded his first career complete game.
Up next, the Huskies continue pool play when they take on third-seeded Houston tomorrow at 11 a.m.
- UConn falls to 20-12 all-time under Jim Penders in conference tournament play
- Tom Verdi had an 18-game reached-base streak snapped in the loss