SAN ANTONIO - Despite holding UTSA to just four hits, the UConn baseball team dropped a 2-1 contest in its 2016 season opener on Friday night at Roadrunner Field in San Antonio, Texas. With the setback, the Huskies begin the campaign at 0-1, while the Roadrunners move out to a 1-0 start.
Junior lefthander Anthony Kay (Stony Brook, N.Y.) took the ball for Huskies, twirling six innings of one-run ball in his season-debut on the hill. The Husky hurler registered eight strikeouts and allowed just two hits in his outing. UTSA's Chance Kirby pitched into the eighth, holding Connecticut to just one hit and one run.
Senior OF Joe DeRoche-Duffin (Santa Ana, Calif.) registered the Huskies' first hit of the season, depositing a solo home run over the left field wall to lead off the second inning. The Husky slugger finished the 2015 season with a team-best 11 homers and ranked sixth in The American with a .541 slugging percentage.
The Roadrunners pulled even in the bottom half of the inning after Skyler Valentine connected for a solo shot to left. UTSA pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the ninth after taking advantage of a wild pitch with a runner on third.
UTSA threatened in the fifth, loading the bases with one out before Kay registered his first pickoff of the season, catching J.T. Gilmore too far off the bag at third, followed by a strikeout to eliminate the threat. An inning later, the Husky lefty worked out a two-on, one-out jam by inducing a 5-5-3 double play.
Connecticut put runners on the corners with two down in the top of the ninth but Patrick Herbelin was able to work out of trouble by notching an inning-ending strikeout.
Devin Over (0-1) was tagged with the loss despite two strong innings of relief in which he surrendered a pair of hits and a walk. Patrick Herbelin (1-0) earned his first victory of the season after exhausting the Husky threat in the ninth.
With the loss, the Huskies fall to 52-66-2 all-time in season openers and 10-13 against competition from Conference USA.
The teams will return to the diamond on Saturday, Feb. 20 for game two of the series. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. ET.
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