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UConn Baseball Keeps Season Alive With Comeback Win Over Memphis

The Huskies had a three-run seventh as they earned a semifinal berth.

Ian Bethune for The UConn Blog

UConn Baseball will play in the American Athletic Conference semifinals for the third consecutive season as the Huskies came from behind against the Memphis Tigers at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida for a 7-5 win.

Shortstop Anthony Prato, third baseman Willy Yahn, designated hitter Isaac Feldstein and first baseman Chris Winkel each had two hits. Prato, Yahn and Winkel each had an RBI, as did left fielder John Toppa and center fielder Keith Krueger.

Wills Montgomerie threw 5 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out seven.

After a battle of strong starting pitchers to begin the game, UConn opened the scoring in the fourth.

Yahn doubled home a run when he took Crosby off the top of the right field wall. He stole third and came home on a contact play that Jim Penders and the Huskies like to run. Zach Schritenthal tried to throw the ball from third before he had it and Yahn scored without a throw.

Memphis stormed back with three in the fifth to take the lead and made it 5-2 in the sixth. The Huskies committed a throwing error in each frame and Montgomerie walked two in the fifth.

Things did not look good for UConn, but they battled back.

Winkel and second baseman Aaron Hill each worked one-out walks and Winkel scored when Krueger fisted an inside pitch over third base. Toppa then came to the plate and he hit a sacrifice fly before Prato tied it up with a single through the left side.

The Huskies took the lead back in the following inning with a pair of runs. Feldstein singled to lead it off and scored on a Winkel triple to the deepest part of the ballpark. He scored on a double steal, with Hill taking second.

John Russell, who came on in relief of Montgomerie, gave UConn 3 1/3 steady innings of work. He retired the first seven he faced and registered five strikeouts.

Things got interesting in the bottom half of the ninth when Memphis loaded the bases with two outs, but Russell induced a chopper to Prato at shortstop to end the game.

UConn (33-24) will play Houston next in a semifinal on Saturday, with the first pitch coming at 10 a.m.