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Baseball: Huskies swept by No. 12 Louisville on road

By Jack Mitchell
On April 27, 2014

The UConn baseball team now has just one win in its last six conference games after being swept by No. 12 Louisville in a three-game road set this weekend.
The Huskies (21-22, 5-9 The American) managed just three runs across the three games, which included a shutout loss on Friday night and a one-run effort on Saturday. The Cardinals (33-11, 11-4 The American) took game one 2-0, game two 6-1 and game three 8-2.
Senior left hander Anthony Marzi, redshirt junior Jordan Tabakman and freshman Anthony Kay drew the starts for UConn on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Marzi fared the best out of the three, pitching six innings and allowing just two runs on six hits in his 11th appearance of the season.
Louisville stymied the Huskies offensively all weekend long, opening the series with a stout seven-inning performance by 2013 Freshman All-American Kyle Funkhouser, who finished the night with seven strikeouts and earned his conference-leading eighth win of the season.
The Huskies' past struggles with runners in scoring position came back to haunt them in game one, as they left 12 men on base and failed to capitalize in a handful of prime opportunities, including one with the bases loaded in the top of the sixth.
UConn finished Friday night's game having gone 6-for-28 against Funkhouser - whose low-90s fastball held the Huskies in check - and the rest of the Cardinals' pitching staff.
Junior right fielder Blake Davey, sophomore first baseman Bobby Melley, sophomore catcher Max McDowell, sophomore infielder Nico Darras, junior left fielder Jon Testani and sophomore center fielder Jack Sundberg led the Huskies with one hit apiece.
The loss marked the second time this season UConn has been held scoreless, with its last shutout coming on March 7 against Florida in extra innings.
After being shutout on Friday, UConn was only able to put one run on the board on Saturday, thanks to a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh from freshman second baseman Aaron Hill that plated McDowell, who finished the day 2-for-4.
The Cardinals shelled Tabakman, tagging him for 11 hits and five runs in 5.1 innings before he was replaced by redshirt freshman righty Callahan Brown, who combined with fellow relievers Max Slade and Michael Niego to toss the remaining 2.2 frames.
Offensively, UConn once again couldn't capitalize in key scoring situations, and was held scoreless with a runner on second in the top of the fourth, the bases loaded top of the fifth and with a runner on third in the top of the ninth.
McDowell and Darras registered multi-hit games for the Huskies, who as a team finished 7-for-30 with seven strikeouts.
The Cardinals completed the sweep with an 8-2 victory on Sunday afternoon, recording seven hits and scoring five runs off Kay, who lasted five innings and struck out six against only one walk.
Louisville carried a 5-0 lead into the top of the fourth before the Huskies finally broke through, putting their first run on the board thanks to a wild pitch that scored Davey - who had reached on a walk - from third base.
UConn scored its second and final run of the afternoon in the top of the fifth, when a single from sophomore third baseman Bryan Daniello plated Sundberg, who had reached on a walk and then stolen second base.
Despite another strong performance by freshman righty Pat Ruotolo in relief, Louisville's lead proved insurmountable after the Cardinals tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the eighth, making it an 8-2 game.
The Huskies have 13 games remaining on their regular season schedule, which ends on May 17. The stretch includes three key conference series against Memphis, Houston and Central Florida.
UConn returns to action on Tuesday for a midweek matchup with UMass in Amherst, Mass. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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