No. 22 UConn baseball kicked off play in the American Conference Tournament with a 6-2 win over the Cincinnati Bearcats.
The Huskies were lifted by a three-run home run from second baseman Michael Woodworth in the fifth inning that ended up being the difference in the ballgame. It was one of two hits on the day for the Alameda, California native.
On the mound, UConn got a strong performance from their ace, Mason Feole. The sophomore threw seven innings, allowing just five hits, two walks and two runs while striking out 11 — his third game of the season with over 10 strikeouts.
It was a pitchers’ duel through the first five innings with the only run for either team coming on a sacrifice fly from Huskies’ right field Isaac Feldstein in the third. Woodworth’s long ball opened the game up and could have put it away but Feole allowed a two-run homer in the next frame that cut the UConn lead in half, 4-2.
That was as close as the Bearcats would get.
Feldstein extended the lead to 5-2 after driving in shortstop Anthony Prato in the seventh followed up by an extra insurance run in the eight off the bat of Prato himself. It was one of four hits on the day for the shortstop, a game high.
Reliever Jacob Wallace came in for the Huskies for the final two innings and closed the door with four strikeouts while allowing just a walk and a hit for his third save of the season.
Catcher Zac Susi extended his on-base streak to 41 games after singling in the first inning.
With the win, UConn doesn’t have much turnaround to their next game. Chase Gardner will take the mound for the Huskies with first pitch expected just before 4:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the American Digital Network.