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UConn Baseball Downs Memphis, 6-2

The Huskies open conference play 4-0 with a win over the Tigers.

UConn’s Zac Susi fist bumps first base coach Chris Podeszwa after a single in the 1st inning vs Memphis.
Ian Bethune for The UConn Blog

UConn Baseball continued their impressive start to conference play, getting a 6-2 win over the Memphis Tigers at J.O. Christian Field in Storrs, Connecticut.

Memphis took a 2-1 lead in the fifth, but the Huskies responded with five runs across the fifth and sixth for the victory.

“We responded the right way [to Wednesday],” head coach Jim Penders said.

Catcher Zac Susi hit 3-for-4, adding three RBI, two of which were on a sixth-inning home run.

“He did a really good job,” Penders said. “He’s been swinging a great bat.”

Tim Cate had another strong outing, going seven effective innings. He was hit hard a few times, but he limited it to two runs on five hits. He struck out 10 and walked three.

“[Cate] was awesome,” Susi said. “His curveball was pretty dominant.”

Memphis kicked off the scoring early, when Tyler Webb took the first pitch of the game to left field for a double. He scored on a fielder’s choice from Chris Carrier and it was 1-0 early.

UConn made it a tie game in the third on the back of a one-out triple from Yahn. He dropped the ball in front of a diving Webb in center field and it rolled all the way to the wall. He came across on a fielder’s choice from Susi for the tie.

Cate allowed a few baserunners in the first, but set down 10 of the next 11 he faced before allowing another run in the fifth.

Jason Santana led off the frame with a single and came in on a line-drive double by Trent Turner that got over center fielder Keith Krueger’s head for a 2-1 lead.

Over the next two innings, UConn took a stranglehold over the game.

“We had much better at-bats today,” Penders said. “[Toppa’s] hit was the biggest hit of the game, in my opinion. [Gnesda] has a bad at-bat, Moriarty doesn’t get it done, then Toppa came up big. We needed that.”

They got three in the fifth, kicked off by a bases-loaded balk by Takoda Metoxen. John Toppa hit a two-run single with two out in the inning and the Huskies had their first lead in the contest.

In the following inning, the Huskies got two more on a Zac Susi home run over the hedges in right field to take a 6-2 lead.

“I waited for the mistake,” Susi said. “I worked a full count and he made a mistake right down the middle and I put a good swing on it.”

UConn (17-10, 4-0) will resume their series with Memphis on Saturday, with a 1 p.m. first pitch. Wills Montgomerie will be on the mound for the Huskies.