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KINGSTON, R.I. -- Fresh off a weekend sweep of Cincinnati, the UConn baseball team (32-20) begins a regular season-ending four-game road trip with a midweek tilt at Rhode Island (22-20-1) on Tuesday afternoon. The Huskies and Rams will square off for the 182nd time in the respective histories of the two programs, with URI the most-played opponent in UConn's history. First pitch from Bill Beck Field is set for 3:30 p.m.
UConn is 112-65-4 all-time against Rhode Island in a series dating back to the inaugural season of Husky baseball in 1896. Last year the squads met up twice, splitting a doubleheader at Dodd Stadium on May 13. Brian Ward tossed a complete game shutout to lift UConn in game one, getting support from Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.) who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Max McDowell (North Huntingdon, Pa.) who also had a pair of hits. In game two, Rhody rallied for a 12-9 victory in 13 innings. Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) and Jon Testani (Monroe, Conn.) scored three runs apiece in the setback and McDowell added two more RBIs.
The Huskies are led in 2015 by Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.), who is second in The American with a .362 batting average and tops the conference with 59 runs scored, placing second in the league with 50 RBIs. All of those categories are first on UConn and Siena has added 13 doubles, seven home runs and 11 stolen bases on the year. Joe DeRoche-Duffin (Santa Ana, Calif.) leads the squad with nine home runs and leads the squad with a .415 on-base percentage, while Willy Yahn (Sharon, Conn.) is batting .343. Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) has used a recent hot streak to up his average to .319 and has stroked 17 doubles this year, while Blake Davey (Newport Beach, Calif.) is hitting .304 and leads the league with 19 two-baggers.
On the mound, UConn leads The American and is among the national leaders with a 2.85 ERA this season. The Huskies are holding opponents to a .224 batting average against and allow 7.41 hits per nine innings, eighth in the nation. Andrew Zapata (Staten Island, N.Y.) is slated to start against Rhode Island and holds a 4-0 record on the year with 39 strikeouts against 15 walks in 45.0 innings.
Rhody hosts UConn with a 22-20-1 record on the year, currently in a three-way tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 with a 14-7 league mark. Martin Taveras leads the Rams as the dish with a .319 average and five home runs, while Chris Hess is hitting .317 with five triples. Mike Corin is second on the team with four home runs and leads the squad with 13 doubles and 34 RBIs, and five Rams have at least 10 stolen bases on the year. On the mound, Rhode Island holds a 3.93 team ERA and is limiting opponents to a .247 batting average against.
Following the Rhode Island contest, UConn stays on the road to close the regular season with a three-game conference series at nationally-ranked Houston. The Huskies and Cougars begin a series with major league standing implications on Thursday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m.
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