The starter for the opening round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament was always going to be Anthony Kay. He was the team's ace all season, coming through with a solid start for the Huskies every single Friday, winning American Athletic Pitcher of the Year in the process.
Kay finished the regular season with a 7-2 record in 14 starts. He threw 98.1 innings with a 2.46 ERA and a .211 BAA, while striking out 97 and only walking 31. The results aside, what Kay did in the AAC Tournament showed his true bulldog mentality.
After pitching in the opening game on Thursday, Kay took the ball on five days of rest in the opening game of the conference tournament on Wednesday, as opposed to his usual six. He threw a complete game, throwing 101 pitches. He allowed two runs on nine hits, striking out six and walking two. This was his second complete game of the season, owning both of UConn's complete games.
On Sunday, on three days of rest, Kay took the ball again. After throwing two innings against Houston, allowing only a two-out double, the weather came. Lightning in the area caused a 63-minute delay in the middle of the third inning, forcing Kay to sit for over an hour. When things like this happen, most teams go to the bullpen. Coach Penders did not and Kay made that decision pay off. He finished with 6-plus innings of work, allowing six hits and two runs. He struck out five and walked two, while throwing 90 pitches.