Game two was the opposite of game one. After Memphis came out gunning and scored nine runs early, with both offenses combining for 14 runs, only five were enough to win this one. UConn was the victor, 5-0, while maintaining a 2-0 lead heading into the eighth.
Wills Montgomerie (6-3) pitched 7.0 scoreless, three-hit innings. He struck out six and walked only two. While Montgomerie threw very well and kept the Tigers at bay, he was not without help. Center fielder Jack Sundberg did his part with a SportsCenter Top 10 worthy catch against the wall in left-center field.
The offense was very balanced in this win with each guy doing his part when called upon.. UConn had eight hits, with no one having multiple. Tyler Gensda had two RBI, while Zac Susi and Aaron Hill each added one.
In the bottom half of the second, UConn got the offense started with the only offense the Huskies would need. Bryan Daniello reached on an error, while Susi and Gnesda each hit singles to bring him home. Gnesda got the first of his two RBI with his single.
The Huskies were threatening in the following frame, with first and second with one out, but Willy Yahn grounded into one of his two double plays to extinguish the danger.
Joe DeRoche-Duffin singled to lead off the bottom half of the fourth. Daniello followed with a single that got by the diving effort of the Memphis center fielder. Had their right fielder not been there, DeRoche-Duffin would not have stopped at third. Daniello then stole second and UConn had runners on second and third with one out.
Gnesda came to the plate and had a productive out, grounding out up the middle to shortstop. Each runner moved up 90 feet and Gnesda had his second RBI of the game. Daniello was stranded and the Huskies were up 2-0 after four.
Jonathan Bowlan, Memphis' starter, did not pitch poorly. Starting with Gnesda in the fourth, he set down 11 straight Huskies, until Aaron Hill came to the plate to lead off the eighth. He took a 1-0 pitch into left and over the fence for a home run, giving the Huskies a 3-0 lead. It would be the last batter Bowlan would face, but UConn's offense would continue to score runs.
John Toppa and Willy Yahn each earned singles, while DeRoche-Duffin walked to load the bases with one out for Daniello. He hit a dribbler down the first base line, but Memphis couldn't make a play and everyone was safe, with Toppa crossing the plate for a 4-0 Huskies advantage. Susi, the following batter, grounded out, but Yahn was able to come home for the fifth and final UConn run.
Pat Ruotolo, the closer from Peabody, Massachusetts, came in for a six-out save, his 10th save of the season. He only allowed one runner to reach, on a walk, and recorded two strikeouts.
UConn (36-23, 14-9) will play Sunday against the Houston Cougars in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game for the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. First pitch will be at 12 p.m. on ESPNews.