UConn Baseball could not get the win in its first midweek contest of the year, losing to the Santa Clara Broncos, 9-5.
Catcher Zac Susi (3-for-5) and first baseman Tyler Gnesda (3-for-3) led the team in hits while left fielder Chris Winkel (1-for-4) and designated hitter John Toppa (1-for-4) each had a pair of RBI.
Starting pitcher Andrew Zapata was not hit particularly hard in his season debut, but he did allow five hits and a three-run first inning for Santa Clara, followed by a filling of the bases with just one out in the second.
He was chased in favor of Doug Domnarski, who was able to get out of the jam unscathed with a double play.
The Huskies got a run back, but the Broncos regained a three-run lead when they re-loaded the bases in the third. Domnarski was unable to replicate the double play, but allowed just a single run on a sacrifice fly to make it 4-1.
In the top of the fourth, the Huskies tied it up with a three-run effort.
Susi led off with a single and took second on a wild pitch before a double by Gnesda made it 4-2. Aaron Hill doubled when Andre Nnebe couldn’t quite make a play in center field and Toppa cleared the bases with a single over the head of second baseman Evan Haberle.
The tie did not last long, however.
A lead-off walk and fielder’s choice put runners on first and second with no one out for the Broncos. After a walk, Ryan McCarthy stepped to the plate with two down and knocked one in play. Hill couldn’t handle the play at second base and two runs scored.
In the top of the sixth, Winkel tripled home Hill to make it a one-run game, but that was the closest UConn would get. The Broncos added a trio of insurance runs across their final three at-bats to secure the win.
UConn (8-6) next faces a three-game series with BYU. The series starts on Thursday with first pitch scheduled for 8 p.m. Eastern time.