UConn Baseball’s tournament-opening game against Cincinnati was moved a day earlier due to the threat of weather in the area on Wednesday. The Huskies overcame the late change with a 12-3 win over the Bearcats and got Wednesday off as a reward.
UConn will take on the No. 2 Houston Cougars at 3 p.m. on Thursday with the same stakes on the line. The winner will get a bye to Saturday’s semifinals and will only have to win once on Saturday to make it to Sunday’s winner-take-all final.
The Huskies and Cougars played from May 5-7 and Houston took two out of three. UConn salvaged the series with a Sunday win.
UConn's lineup for AAC Game 2 against Houston. A berth in the semifinals is on the line pic.twitter.com/iCeMlAlGxC— Shawn McGrath (@ShawnMMcGrath) May 25, 2017
Top 1: John Toppa is in the box, Mitch Ullom has completed his warmup pitches and the game is on between UConn and Houston.
Mid 1: Huskies go quietly in the top of the first, with only Prato’s single, but Mitch Ullom’s pitch count being at 19 after one inning means it wasn’t a total loss. 0-0 tie.
End 1: Connor Wong works a leadoff walk and makes it to third with one out, but he does not score. 0-0 after one.
Mid 2: UConn gets their first runner to scoring position in Willy Yahn but two great defensive plays from the Houston corner infielders meant he was stranded. Cate will return to face 5-6-7 in the Houston order.
End 2: Houston gets a run in on a Lael Lockhart double. He worked the count from 0-2 to 3-2 and waited Cate out. 1-0 Cougars and Aaron Hill, Keith Krueger and John Toppa look to tie it back up.
Top 3: UConn gets a run on a bobble by Cooper Coldiron at shortstop. 1-1 tie. UConn has two on and one out for Zac Susi.
Top 3: UConn has a lead! Isaac Feldstein takes a first pitch on the outer half and sends it over the right-center field wall. 4-1 Huskies.
Mid 3: Tim Cate can pitch with a lead now. It’s 4-1 and he will face 9-1-2 in the Houston order.
Bot 3: Tyler Bielamowicz hits a solo home run to left to lead off the inning and now it’s a 4-2 game.
End 3: third of the way home, Houston will get just the one run. It’s 4-2 in Clearwater.
Mid 4: Chris Winkel singles but it gunned down trying to steal second and that’s all. Davis (1-for-1), Coldiron (0-for-1, K) and Triolo (0-for-1) due for Houston.
End 4: A 4-6-3 double play ends the inning and Keith Krueger (1-for-1) will lead it off, followed by Toppa (1-for-2) and Prato (1-for-2). 4-2 UConn leads.
Mid 5: A very quick inning for Mitch Ullom and we are halfway home. UConn leads 4-2, while the Cougars will send Lael Lockhart (1-for-1, 2B), Tyler Bielamowicz (1-for-1, HR) and Connor Wong (1-for-1, BB) to the plate.
End 5: Cate almost gets through a two on, no out jam but Jake Scheiner triples over Feldstein’s head in right. He got greedy and was cut down trying to make it an inside-the-park home run but the damage was done. 4-4 tie.
Mid 6: UConn leaves them loaded. After six, Mitch Ullom is over 100 pitches and is not likely to retun, so the Huskies will have to get it done against the bullpen. 4-4 tie in Clearwater.
Bot 6: Corey Julks leads off the inning by taking Cate deep to left-center. 5-4 Houston leads.
Bot 6: Cate is done after 5 1/3 innings. Ryan Radue is on to replace him.
End 6: Radue comes in and does a job, stranding a pair. UConn will send Krueger (0-for-2), Toppa (1-for-3) and Prato (1-for-3) to the plate down 5-4.
Top 7: Prato comes through in the clutch, singling home Krueger. Mitch Ullom is now done.
Mid 7: UConn ties the game and Susi grounds into the ever so common 3-6 double play to end the frame. Stretch time and the Huskies and Cougars are squared at five.
Bot 7: Houston gets the lead on a sacrifice bunt gone awry for the Huskies. 6-5 Houston.
End 7: Radue strands two more runners and Isaac Feldstein, Willy Yahn and Alex LeFevre look to get a run in with UConn down 6-5.
Mid 8: Jack Lambrecht pinch hits for Winkel after LeFevre walks with two down and strikes out looking. Ryan Radue is back on looking to hold the lead to just one.
Bot 8: Houston grabs an insurance run on a Tyler Bielamowicz double and now Ryan Radue is finished for the day. CJ Dandeneau on to pitch in a 7-5 game.
End 8: UConn needs two runs to extend the game. 7-5 Houston leads and Aaron Hill, Keith Krueger and John Toppa are due up.
Top 9: Anthony Prato with an RBI single and now it’s 7-6 Houston. Two on and one out for Zac Susi.
Final: UConn will now have to win four straight games to win the conference title after their 7-6 loss. Memphis tomorrow at 11 a.m. in an elimination game.