Baseball: Zapata's arm and Daniello's bat pace Huskies
UConn sophomore Bryan Daniello looks at a pitch in the batter’s box during a baseball game earlier this season at J.O. Christian Field. Daniello went 2-for-5 and drove in two runs in UConn’s 5-3 win over Quinnipiac on Wednesday.
On top of another outstanding pitching performance, the UConn baseball team defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Wednesday afternoon in a non-conference showdown in Hamden.
Two days after senior Brian Ward tossed the first complete game for the Huskies this season, freshman Andrew Zapata had a career day, throwing a career high 7.1 innings while giving up only two hits to lead the Huskies past the Bobcats.
Zapata also had five strikeouts and just one walk on the afternoon.
Errors have been a topic of conversation for UConn over the past week. The Huskies had four errors on Saturday in a 6-2 loss against conference opponent Temple, no errors in a 9-1 win over Central Connecticut State University on Monday and two errors in their victory over UMass yesterday.
UConn only had one error on the Wednesday, but it proved to be costly the Bobcats were able to score off of an RBI groundout to take a 1-0 lead after two innings.
After not being able to generate any offense through the first three innings, the Huskies finally cracked Quinnipiac pitcher Nick Fabrizio in the fourth inning when Jack Sundberg hit an RBI single to tie the game.
After giving up a run early in the game, Zapata was able to settle down and get into a groove, retiring 14 straight Bobcats at one point. In the sixth inning, Quinnipiac finally broke Zapata's streak, notching their first hit of the game and then scoring off of an RBI double to take the lead back 2-1.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the eighth inning, Bryan Daniello notched a base hit to right field that brought two runs across and gave UConn its first lead of the game. Senior captain Tom Verdi took advantage of a wild pitch during the next at bat, sprinting home to score. And then sophomore Bobby Melley capped off the inning with an RBI double to left center, driving in another run to put UConn ahead 5-2.
After a walk in the eighth inning, Zapata was relieved by Ryan Radue. The Bobcats were able to scratch one run across to cut the lead to 5-3. David Mahoney came on in the ninth for the save and retired the Bobcats in order for his fifth save of the year.
UConn (21-19) have won all three games this week, but the schedule does not get any easier as they will face nationally ranked Louisville this coming weekend.
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