In the midst of a surprising 8-7 loss to Holy Cross, UConn second baseman Vinny Siena recorded his 200th career hit in the first inning. The Woodbridge, Connecticut native is now one of just 15 Huskies to reach 200 hit mark, and the first to do so since Billy Ferriter and LJ Mazzili both did in 2013.
“It’s great, it’s an honor,” Siena said on reaching 200 hits. “With all the guys who are having success in the big leagues right now and to be able to join that fraternity, it’s nice to get that out of the way.”
The milestone marked yet another achievement in Siena’s extremely productive junior campaign. Siena has bounced back from a sophomore slump where he hit just .231 and slugging a mere .301 to leading the team with a .364 batting average and slugging .519 on the season. Siena also leads the American Athletic Conference with 72 hits and 43 runs batted in, and his emergence has helped transform the UConn lineup into one of the strongest and deepest lineups in the American.
Siena also reached base in 35 consecutive games this season until he went 0-6 against Memphis on April 26. During his 35-game on base streak, Siena posted hitting streaks of 18 and 12 games and led the Huskies to a 23-12 record over the course of his streak.
“I’m definitely more comfortable and more confident [this year],” Siena said after a 9-1 win over Northeastern April 7.”I just worked hard over the winter, over the fall really building my confidence up and every aspect of the game.”
After his first inning single in the loss to Holy Cross, Siena would add two more hits and pair of stolen bases to finish 3-5 at the plate for the day. While the loss certainly hindered the Huskies’ hopes of receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, a strong performance this weekend against conference foe East Carolina and a win against Rhode Island next week could easily negate the upset loss to the Crusaders. With such crucial games ahead, Siena knows that he and the rest of the middle of the order must perform well in order to lead the Huskies to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2013.
“It’s going to take all of us, not just me, not just Bobby, not just Blake and Max,” Siena said. “[We need to] get those big hits with runners in scoring position and lead, be the guys that lead the team to victory offensively and defensively.”