UConn Baseball opened its 2017 campaign on a positive note by defeating the UMass Lowell River Hawks, 5-3, in the opener of a four-game series.
Tim Cate had a great first outing, notching a career-high 13 strikeouts against just one walk in 7 1⁄3 shutout innings. He carried a perfect game into the fifth inning and allowed just two hits.
Zac Susi led the way offensively, going 2-for-4 with two RBI thanks to a home run and a triple. Issac Feldstein (2-for-5), Tyler Gnesda (2-for-4) and Conor Moriarty (2-for-4) each posted multi-hit games as well. Moriarty and Anthony Prato (1-for-3) each had an RBI.
UConn notched two early runs, scoring one in the second and third innings.
Gnesda led off the second with a single and Moriarty doubled down the left field line for his first career RBI to bring him home. In the bottom of the third, Isaac Feldstein hit a one-out double over the center fielder and scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0.
Cate struck out the first five batters he faced and had nine punch-outs through four innings of work, facing his first trouble in the fifth. He allowed two runners on base but followed it up with his 10th strikeout of the afternoon to end the inning and preserve his shutout.
The Huskies added another run in the bottom of the fifth on Susi’s solo home run to make it 3-0. In the seventh, Prato singled home Moriarty for his first career RBI to make it 4-0.
It took until the eighth for UMass Lowell to get on the board, but they certainly made it interesting after a two-out rally which netted two runs.
PJ Poulin walked a batter and was lifted for Ryan Radue, who made his first appearance on the mound since 2015. He missed the 2016 season after being diagnosed with cancer in the winter of 2015. Radue allowed a run but then hurled a strikeout to end the threat.
Susi added another RBI in the bottom of the eighth with a triple for insurance before John Russell allowed one run in the ninth to get the save.
UConn (1-0) and UMass Lowell (0-1) do it again with a doubleheader kicking off Saturday morning. First pitch for game one of the doubleheader is at 11 a.m.