STORRS, Conn. - On Sunday, the UConn baseball team continued its fall slate when hosted the annual Alumni Game and Barbecue at J.O. Christian Field in Storrs. Prior to first pitch, Husky skipper Jim Penders handed out the team awards for the 2015 season.
Rising junior lefty Anthony Kay (Stony Brook, N.Y.) was honored with the Mrs. Mary Dropo Unsung Hero Award after putting together an 8-6 sophomore season on the hill. One of the most dynamic pitchers in The American, the southpaw finished the season with a 2.07 ERA to place second in the league. He led the conference with a 0.98 WHIP and was also second in the conference with a .202 batting average against. In 100.0 innings, Kay struck out 96 against 25 walks. He was the first player to accept an invite to the 2015 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team and donned the stars and stripes over the summer
Recently graduated ace Carson Cross (Brentwood, N.H.) earned the James Allen Pitching Award. Selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2015 MLB Draft, Cross went 10-2 with a 2.29 ERA in his redshirt-senior season in 2015. The 6'6 tri-captain struck out 108 batters in 106.0 innings and held opponents to a .206 batting average against. His 15 strikeouts at FIU on March 6 were the most punch-outs in a single game at UConn since 1988 and earned Cross NCBWA and Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week nods. He was one of two Huskies selected as an ABCA/Rawlings All-American and finished fourth in program history with 222 career strikeouts, compiling a career record of 22-7 with a 2.20 ERA in 254.0 career innings.
The Lawrence R. Panciera MVP Award was given to former second baseman Vinny Siena, who was selected by the New York Mets in the 2015 MLB Draft. The 2015 NEIBA New England Player of the Year, Siena was a First Team ABCA All-Region and All-Conference selection as a junior and finished among the national leaders with a .362 batting average and 64 runs scored. The infielder added 14 doubles, three triples, seven home runs and led the Huskies with 54 RBIs. He also drew 29 walks and stole 11 bases in a breakout junior campaign. Siena hit safely in 54-of-60 games and recorded 27 multi-hit efforts, posting hitting streaks of 18 and 10 games during the season. In 175 career games at UConn, he held a .302 batting average with 30 doubles, 10 home runs and 114 RBIs.
The Hirschhorn Foundation Award was presented to Max McDowell, who was taken by the Milwaukee Brewers in the MLB's most recent draft.. A McDowell backstopped the Huskies as their primary catcher for the past three seasons. A two-time All-Conference pick by The American, the junior hit .286 with seven home runs and 39 home runs in 2015. A strong situational hitter, McDowell was the nation's leader with 11 sacrifice flies in 2015. In 164 career games at Connecticut he clubbed 12 home runs, 18 doubles and driven in 98. Behind the plate, he threw out 19 would-be base stealers in each of the last two seasons.
Finally, the Donald "Dee" Rowe Scholar-Athlete Award went to rising redshirt-junior hurler Ryan Radue, who made 14 appearances out of the pen in his sophomore campaign. The righty went 1-1 and held a 4.02 ERA in 15.2 innings of work, striking out 12 and limiting opponents to a .226 batting average. He held opponents scoreless in his first six appearances and 12-of-14 overall.
Many former Huskies, including Doug Elliot (`11), Eliot Glynn ('11), Pierre LePage ('10), Tom Verdi ('14), Anthony Marzi ('14), David Fischer ('12), Dennis Accomando ('09), John Folino ('09), Kevin Vance ('11), Pat Mahoney ('08), Jordan Tabakman ('15) Ted Hurvul ('12), Jack Hurley ('87), Delroy Parkinson ('87), Jon Gery ('87), Dave Lanese ('87), Mick Buckmir ('87), Jim Sarantides ('86), Brian Specyalski ('90) and Marek Drabinski ('90) were in attendance for the alumni game. The current group of Huskies defeated the Alumni, 6-2, in a nine-inning affair.
To keep up with the team during the fall season, follow @UConnBaseball on Twitter.