UConn Baseball evened the series with UCF after a 6-5 win over the Knights on Saturday at Jay Bergman Field in Orlando.
The Huskies had a 5-0 lead after three innings, but UCF tied it by the sixth. Designated hitter Tyler Gnesda played hero, hitting a home run in the eighth to give the Huskies the lead and the win.
Like Friday night, the Huskies got off to a shaky start, this time with Wills Montgomerie on the mound. He pitched 5 1/3 innings, but allowed five runs on six hits and hit a pair of batters in addition to two walks while striking out seven.
Right fielder Isaac Feldstein, center fielder Keith Krueger, second baseman Aaron Hill and Gnesda each had a RBI while first baseman Chris Winkel had two. Krueger, Feldstein, and Gnesda also had multi-hit efforts.
UConn started off strong at the plate, grabbing an early run on a two-out single up the middle from Feldstein before grabbing a pair each in the second and third.
In the second inning, Hill had runners on second and third with one out. He flew out, but it was deep enough to let Gnesda tag up from third and move shortstop Conor Moriarty over to third, who was playing for the injured Anthony Prato. Moriarty scored on an infield single from Krueger.
In the third, Winkel had two on with two out and split the outfielders with a double into the left-center field gap to make it 5-0. Left fielder John Toppa and Feldstein scored as the Huskies held a commanding lead.
The Knights made it a game with four runs on four hits in the fourth. Mika led off the scoring with a groundout after UCF had runners on second and third. Then Rylan Thomas hit a single up the middle before Montgomerie gave up a bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly.
That was quickly followed up with a single up the middle by Rylan Thomas. Montgomerie also gave up a bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly.
UCF tied it up with a Kam Gellinger home run in the sixth, which would spell the end for Montgomerie.
The bullpen scattered two hits and a walk over the remainder of the game, allowing Gnesda’s home run in the eighth to stand for the win.
UConn (22-15, 7-4) will send Mason Feole to the mound on Sunday for the series finale with the Knights. First pitch is at 11 a.m.