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UConn Baseball Falls to ECU in AAC Tournament, 4-2

The Huskies had the winning run on first base in the ninth but couldn't come up with the big hit. Their season most likely ended today in Clearwater, Florida.

Mark Corey

This team never stopped battling. Trailing 4-1 and down to their last out, four straight Husky batters reached base, putting the tying run on first base, before eventually falling to East Carolina 4-2.

The Huskies struggled to hit with runners in scoring position, leaving 13 men on base in the loss.

The game started off on the wrong foot for the Huskies as Wills Montgomerie walked the first three batters of the game on 13 pitches. The coaching staff quickly decided that it wasn't the freshman's day and turned to redshirt freshman Sam Nepiarski who was coming off an excellent relief appearance in the loss to Tulane on Wednesday.

Nepiarski got the cleanup hitter Kirk Morgan to ground out to short, which drove a run home, before allowing an RBI single to Luke Lowery, one of the best power hitters in the conference. The lanky right-hander then took care of the next two Pirates hitters to limit ECU to a two-run first inning, a huge victory considering the way it started.

The redshirt freshman from Orange kept Pirate bats relatively quiet over the next 6.1 innings, giving up just one run on four hits and one walk while striking out two. It was his longest outing of the year and kept the team in the game. Next year he will be fighting for a spot in the weekend rotation.

Unfortunately for Nepiarski the UConn offense could not get it going outside of a Blake Davey RBI double in the first inning. The Huskies left a runner on base in each of the first seven innings.

A lightning storm came through in the top of the eighth inning resulting in a two-hour and 35-minute rain delay. When the tarp was pulled and play resumed, ECU's Luke Lowery lined a ball to left that scored pinch runner Parker Lamb following a throwing error by Blake Davey in left field.

The Huskies had their chances in the eighth and ninth. In both innings, the Huskies loaded the bases and in both innings the Huskies couldn't get the big hit.

In the eighth Jon Testani came up with two outs and bounced the ball over the pitcher's mound but Pirates second baseman Charlie Yorgen made a phenomenal barehanded play to get Testani out by a step.

In the ninth, down to their last out, Vinny Siena worked a walk, Bobby Melley roped an RBI single to right, Blake Davey was hit by a pitch, and Joe Deroche-Duffin walked to load the bases for Max McDowell with the tying run on second.

McDowell had a 2-1 count and just missed a pitch, flying out to left field to end the game and potentially, the season.

It is in the committee's hands now. UConn finishes with a 35-25 record. The Huskies are on the outside looking in, but will find out their fate for sure on Monday.