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UConn Baseball Tied 1-1 in Weekend Series with Tulane

Anthony Kay pitched a gem in the first game to give the Huskies the win. In the second game, delayed by the weather, Tulane's bats sprung to life.

Game 1

by Ryan Melillo

The UConn bats continued to stay hot Friday afternoon as the Huskies picked up their first conference win of the season, 9-4, over a talented Tulane squad. Jim Penders' bunch moves to 13-11 on the season.

Anthony Kay shined for the Huskies, going a full 7.0 innings while giving up four earned runs on only two hits. He also notched eight strikeouts, putting him past the 200-strikeout mark in his career. The junior ace carried a perfect game into the sixth inning until a stretch of walks loaded the bases and a Tulane grand slam broke it. Kay earned the win to move to 3-2 on the season.

UConn drew first blood in this contest. With two down in the bottom of the second, freshman OF John Toppa laced a single to score senior Bryan Daniello and give the Huskies an early 1-0 advantage.

The Huskies batted around in the home half of the fourth inning to break the game open and extend their early lead. UConn took advantage of a couple costly Tulane errors, tallying three hits to score five runs and extend the lead to 6-0 going into the fifth inning.

After tacking on another run in the bottom of the fifth off of another Green Wave error, UConn plated two in the sixth inning. Senior captain Bobby Melley and fellow senior Joe DeRoche-Duffin each blasted RBI doubles to make the Connecticut lead 9-4.

Two solid innings of relief from redshirt freshman CJ Dandeneau ensured that the 9-4 lead would hold until the finish.

The Huskies will continue their series against Tulane Saturday with a double-header. Game 1 is set to begin at 11 am, with Game 2 beginning within a half hour of the first game ending. Hopefully the UConn bats stay hot through this series with what should be the top team in the conference.

Game 2

by Shawn McGrath

It was a rainy Saturday at J.O. Christian Field for the second game of the series. The first pitch for what was supposed to be a doubleheader was pushed back multiple times, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The field was wet, but the UConn Huskies and Tulane Green Wave pressed on for the middle game of the three-game series.

The conditions led to UConn committing five errors, and Tulane added another two. Players were slipping around, and Tulane was able to take advantage of that, along with a very strong hitting effort to defeat the Huskies, 14-5.

UConn fell to 13-12 on the season, overshadowing a 3-4 performance from Jack Sundberg who notched two doubles.

Husky starter Tim Cate started off strong, going scoreless through the first three innings, but Tulane was able to get on the board in the fourth and after that it just kept coming. Tulane started the scoring with a Grant Witherspoon two-run home run for a 2-0 lead.

Witherspoon added another RBI in the fifth, bringing a run home on a single. Cate lasted 4.1 innings before Dan Rajkowski came in to replace him. Rajkowski allowed back-to-back home runs, bringing the score to 7-0 in favor of Tulane after four and a half innings.

UConn came back with a couple of runs in the bottom of the fifth behind Willy Yahn. He had runners on second and third with two out and hit a rocket that got under the glove of the third baseman, bringing home Sundberg and Stefanski. The score was 7-2 after five.

Tulane added four more in the top of the sixth to put it out of reach. Stephen Alemais singled home a run, and then advanced to second on a Stefanski throwing error. He scored on another Stefanski throwing error to make it 9-2 Tulane.

A few batters later, Richard Carthon singled to short, and on a Bryan Daniello throwing error, two more runs came across the plate. Tulane was rolling, 11-2 after five and a half innings.

UConn added three runs in the bottom of the seventh, but it was to no avail, as they were not able to finish what would have been a massive comeback.

Tulane made up for UConn's spurt in the next half-inning. Jeremy Montalbano singled, pushing Witherspoon across the plate again. Then Kaplan singled, bringing two more runs across the plate. It was 14-5 for Tulane, and this is how the game would end.

UConn and Tulane face off in the rubber match of the series at 11:45 a.m. Sunday at J.O. Christian Field.