SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Senior co-captain Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) collected three hits and three RBIs, but the UConn baseball team dropped the second game of a three-game series, 9-6, to No. 21 UC Santa Barbara on Saturday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. With the setback, UConn drops to 9-8 overall, while the Gauchos jump up to 14-3.
Melley finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored, including his team-leading fourth homerun of the season. Senior OF Joe DeRoche-Duffin (Laguna Nigel, Calif.) went 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
On the mound, freshman lefty Tim Cate (Manchester, Conn.) did not factor in the decision despite tossing 6.0 innings and allowing three runs (one earned) on just five hits with eight punch-outs.
Melley gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, picking up his 20th RBI of the season with a groundout to first to score Sundberg, who opened the inning with a single and swiped his team-leading seventh bag of the year to get into scoring position.
UCSB responded with an unearned run in the third and an unearned run in the fourth to jump ahead 2-1.
Connecticut drew even in the sixth. After Melley roped a one-out double, DeRoche-Duffun sent a 2-1 pitch into the gap in left to score the Husky co-captain and knot the score at 2-2.
After a hit-by-pitch, walk and sac bunt, sophomore 3B Willy Yahn (Sharon, Conn.) gave the Huskies a 3-2 lead with a sac fly to right. Next up, Melley crushed a two-run shot to right field to extend the advantage to 5-2. The round-tripper was the co-captains fourth homer of the season, moving him into a tie for the team lead.
The Gauchos answered with a three-run seventh of their own, tying the game up at 5-5 after collecting four hits. The Gauchos put the game away with a four-run eighth inning.
Connecticut drops to 0-2 all-time vs. the Gauchos and 3-4 on its eight-game West Coast road trip.
The teams conclude the three-game series on Sunday, March 20 with a 4 p.m. ET finale. After Sunday’s tilt, the Huskies will return to J.O. Christian field for the second time this season when they host in-state foe CCSU on March 23.
To keep up with the team during the season, follow @UConnBaseball on Twitter and use the hashtag #HookC for updates throughout the 2016 campaign.