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UConn breaks losing streak against Sacred Heart

By Matt Zampini
On March 11, 2014

  • UConn sophomore Vinny Siena looks to make contact in a plate appearance during the 2012-13 season. Sienna had four RBI’s against Sacred Heart including a three-run homerun and a sacrifice fly. TROY CALDIERA/THE DAILY CAMPUS

The UConn baseball team hopped back on the winning track on Tuesday as they defeated the Sacred Heart Pioneers 5-0 at the Baseball Heaven Complex in Yaphank, N.Y.

Freshman Andrew Zapata made his first collegiate start against the Pioneers, tossing 7.1 scoreless innings and allowing just one hit for the Huskies. It is the first time this season that UConn has gone away from their regular pitching staff of Jordan Tabakman, Anthony Marzi and Brian Ward. 

Zapata was very comfortable on the mound in his first start, cruising through the middle innings and taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning before giving up a two-out single. Zapata recorded five strikeouts against four walks in his starting debut. 

Sophomore Vinny Siena has been having a fantastic season for the Huskies through the early stages of the year and he continued his hot-streak on Tuesday. Siena carried the offensive load for the Huskies, going 1-for-3 and driving in four runs, including his first home run of the season. 

UConn wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. With runners on the corners in the bottom of the first inning, Siena stepped to the plate and hit a sacrifice fly that drove in Jack Sundberg to take a 1-0 lead.

After both teams were held scoreless for the next five innings, the Huskies added to their lead in the bottom half of the seventh inning when Eric Yavarone drove in Aaron Hill with an infield single to make it 2-0.

Then, with two men on base, Siena belted his first home run of the year to increase the Huskies lead to 5-0. Siena has now reached base safely in 24 straight games and leads the Huskies in batting average (.340), runs batted in (11) and hits (18). 

Head coach Jim Penders made a pitching change in the top of the eighth inning, bringing in Devin Over to replace Zapata. Over struck out two batters in two innings of relief to help seal the deal for the Huskies. 

The win against the Pioneers on Tuesday snapped UConn's five-game losing streak and they will look to carry the momentum from their performance Tuesday over to this weekend in Philadelphia where they will participate in the Big 5 Baseball Bash. 

UConn will take on St. Peter's, La Salle and Villanova in the tournament. 


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