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UConn Heads To Orlando For Three At UCF

Willy Yahn is batting .421 with 17 RBIs in his first 15 career starts
April 9, 2015

Game Notes (PDF) || Live Stats/Video || Radio (WHUS, 91.7 FM)

ORLANDO -- The UConn baseball team (20-12, 3-3 American) heads to the Sunshine State for the fourth time in 2015 to take on nationally-ranked UCF (24-10, 3-3 American) in a three-game American Athletic Conference series this weekend. The Huskies and Knights will clash on Friday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. before a 4 p.m. start on Saturday, April 11 and a 1 p.m. series finale on Sunday, April 12. 

The Huskies are 2-3 all-time against UCF, going 2-2 against the Knights last season in their first year as conference-mates. Both squads are at .500 in league play after dropping conference series last weekend and each picked up a win in the midweek earlier this week. Central Florida is ranked as high as No. 12 in the country in the various national polls. 

UConn played in a battle of the Huskies on Tuesday in Storrs, defeating Northeastern by a score of 9-1. The contest was close early, with Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.) breaking a 1-1 tie with a two-run home run in the seventh inning. After Andrew Zapata (Staten Island, N.Y.) completed seven one-run innings in his best start of the season, the Husky bats came to life with a six-run bottom of the eighth. Willy Yahn (Sharon, Conn.) had three hits and Jon Testani (Monroe, Conn.) drove in a pair along with Siena's three RBIs.

At Hartford on Wednesday, the big inning never came as the Hawks held the Husky bats to six hits and stranded 11 runners on base in a 6-1 setback for UConn. Siena drove in the lone UConn run and Max McDowell (North Huntingdon, Pa.) had three hits. Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) reached base four times in the loss and stole four bases, becoming the 10th player in program history to notch 50 career steals along the way.

Siena leads the UConn regulars with a .365 average on the year and is tops on the squad with 28 RBIs to go along with eight doubles, two triples and four home runs. McDowell is second on the squad with a .304 average and is tied for the team-lead with five home runs, while Sundberg is batting .303 with 21 stolen bases and 31 runs scored. Blake Davey (Newport Beach, Calif.) is the fourth regular at .300 and leads the squad with 11 doubles. Yahn has made the last 15 starts for UConn and been tremendous, already with eight multi-hit games and a .421/.468/.632 slash line. 

The UConn pitching staff holds a combined 2.72 ERA, second in The American, and leads the conference with a .215 batting average against. The one-two punch of Carson Cross (Brentwood, N.H.) and Anthony Kay (Stony Brook, N.Y.) in the weekend rotation has been superb, with Cross at 6-1 with a 1.46 ERA and Kay holding a 4-3 record and a 1.17 ERA. The duo are at the top of nearly every pitching category in The American and Cross slots in at second nationally with 73 strikeouts. Jordan Tabakman (Pompton Plains, N.J.) holds a 3.33 ERA to round out the weekend rotation while Nico Darras (Laguna Beach, Calif.) has compiled a 1.50 ERA in a team-high 15 relief appearances. 

Central Florida hosts UConn this weekend with a 24-10 record and one of the nation's most potent offenses. UCF is ranked in the top-10 nationally in nearly every offensive category, including an NCAA-leading 48 home runs as a team. The Knights team slash line is .313/.407/.513 for an absurd combined OPS of .920. Tommy Williams leads The American with a .395 average and is one of seven UCF regulars batting over .300. Dylan Moore has been the top power bat for the Knights thus far with a team-high nine home runs and 36 RBIs. Erik Barber and Logan Heiser have each added six home runs, while Williams (30) and Kyle Marsh (29) are other top RBI threats. On the mound, UCF holds a team ERA of 4.74 and a .261 team batting average against, but have struck out 260 opponents in 298.0 innings. Cre Finfrock leads the squad with a 2.66 ERA and will take a 6-1 record into his Friday start, while Zach Rodgers in 5-0 with a 2.85 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 11 appearances, five starts. 

Following the UCF series, the Huskies hit the road for midweek contests at Fairfield and Bryant next week. 
The Last Meeting
May 21, 2014
Clearwater, Fla.
UConn Tripped Up By UCF, 7-1, In Game One Of Pool Play
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.