Carson Cross struck out a career-high 15 in a dominant performance, leading Connecticut past host FIU 4-1 in the first baseball game between the schools.
A senior right-hander, Cross threw 109 pitches, allowing just two hits and no walks. He survived an error from his shortstop with two outs in the ninth but struck out the next batter for the win.
Cross (3-1) gave up a double to the first batter he faced, FIU’s Jack Schaaf, who came around to score on Brian Portelli’s sacrifice fly.
But after Schaaf’s double, Cross retired 18 consecutive batters.
Between the sixth and seventh innings, Cross fanned six of the seven batters he faced. The only exception was Julius Gaines, who singled up the middle to lead off the seventh. Gaines stole second but was stranded when Cross continued his strikeout streak.
Cross, who has struck out 41 batters in 262/3 innings this season, improved to 3-1 with a 2.36 ERA. He mixed a fastball in the 88-89-mph range with a put-away slider.
UConn tied the score 1-1 with a second-inning homer from Max McDowell. The Huskies (5-5) got their winning rally in the third, when Jack Sundberg hit a run-scoring triple, and Vinny Siena followed with a two-run homer.
The three-game series continues Saturday at 2 p.m., when FIU (7-6) will pitch freshman right-hander Andres Nunez (2-0, 0.00) against left-hander Anthony Kay (1-1, 0.78).