In yet another hard fought game between the Pirates and the Huskies, UConn was unable to come back in the ninth on Sunday, losing 3-2. Wills Montgomerie, despite a strong performance, was served the loss and falls to 3-2 on the season.
ECU started the offense, fueled by a lead-off double by Parker Lamm. He scored after a sacrifice bunt and a ground out. The Pirates had the lead after one inning, 1-0, but UConn would be able to tie and take the lead soon after.
The Huskies manufactured a run in the second and followed it up with another in the third.
In the top of the second, Tyler Gnesda worked a one-out walk and after a Bryan Daniello double put him on third, Connor Buckley flew out to right, but it was deep enough to move each Husky up 90 feet, scoring Gnesda to tie it. Zac Susi grounded out to end the threat.
In the third, Aaron Hill got a hit for the second game in a row on a drag bunt single that surprised the ECU defense. He stole second, and after Sundberg and Yahn both grounded out, Hill had crossed the plate safely to give UConn a 2-1 lead.
Montgomerie threw very well, going for a career-high 7.0 innings, allowing just three hits, and striking out six. He also walked one and hit two batters. He only made one mistake, but that mistake is the one that ended up costing the Huskies the game.
In the fourth inning, Montgomerie got the count to 0-2 against Pirates' cleanup hitter Kirk Morgan. After throwing two balls, he hit him with a pitch. The next pitch he threw was a fastball that he left over the plate to Travis Watkins. That pitch ended up in the left-field seats. ECU took a 3-2 lead which it would not relinquish, despite going cold offensively over the balance of the game.
After the home run, Montgomerie hit his second batter of the game but then settled down. He retired the final 12 hitters he faced, with only one hitting a ball that reached the outfield. CJ Dandeneau came in to pitch a perfect eighth in relief.
While the ECU offense was shut down for most of the game, so was UConn's. In the fifth, the Huskies were able to use walks and hit batsmen to their advantage, loading the bases for Bobby Melley, but he struck out looking to end the frame.
Over the final six innings, UConn was able to only muster three hits, and only get three runners into scoring position, pushing none across.
Despite the light offensive afternoon, the Huskies did not give this game away to ECU, battling to the end. In their half of the ninth, each of the five batters worked the count, and two of them were able to find themselves safely on the base paths for Jack Sundberg, who struck out to end the game.
UConn is now 21-18 overall, and 6-5 in American Athletic Conference play. Their next game is Tuesday, when they travel to Worcester, Massachusetts to face the Crusaders of Holy Cross. First pitch is at 5 p.m.