STORRS, Conn. - The UConn baseball team scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to walk off over Columbia, 4-3, on its way to a doubleheader sweep on Saturday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field. The Huskies topped the Lions, 3-0, in game one before sealing the series victory with a 4-3 win in game two. With the victories, Connecticut evens up at 11-11, while Columbia drops to 5-13 overall.
UConn improves to 3-1 all-time against the Lions in a series dating back to 2002 and moves its record to 3-1 against Ivy League competition in 2016.
Freshman LHP Tim Cate (Manchester, Conn.) was masterful in his third start of the season, firing six scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and matching a career-high with 11 strikeouts. Junior righthander Patrick Ruotolo (1-0) grabbed his first win of the year with 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. In total, the Husky pitching staff racked up 15 punch-outs.
At the plate, senior SS Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.) finished 1-for-4 collecting the game's only RBI and scoring a run. Senior co-captain Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) reached base twice and scored a run in the win.
Neither team broke onto the scoreboard until the seventh inning when junior Keith Krueger (Las Vegas, Nevada) and Sundberg singled with two outs. Next up, Daniello lifted an RBI single into left field before the Huskies pushed two more runs across on an error by the second basemen to move ahead 3-0.
Ruotolo came on in relief in the seventh and finished off the contest without allowing a run, securing the win.
Redshirt-junior catcher Alex LeFevre (Mansfield, Conn.) paced the offense with a 3-for-3 game, registering his third RBI of the 2016 campaign, while infielders Aaron Hill (Groton, Conn.) and Connor Buckley (Stonington, Conn.) registered RBIs in the win.
Freshman RHP Ronnie Rossomando (Stratford, Conn.) earned his fourth starting nod of the season, allowing three runs (one earned) with five strikeouts in 3.2 innings of work. Sophomore Wills Montgomerie (Lakeville, Conn.) shined out of the bullpen, tossing 3.1 scoreless innings with four strikeouts, while freshman Randy Polonia (2-1) earned his second win of the season with a 1.1 inning effort in relief.
Columbia jumped out to an early 3-0 lead before Connecticut grabbed a run following back-to-back base knocks from John Toppa (Portsmouth, R.I.) and LeFevre and an RBI groundout from Hill.
UConn scratched closer in the seventh when LeFevre poked a two-out single into right field to plate Joe DeRoche-Duffin (Santa Ana, Calif.), who singled earlier in the frame.
Daniello led off the ninth with a sharp single into left field before Krueger was hit by a pitch. After a sacrifice bunt from LeFevre, Connecticut tied the game up on a wild pitch before walking off on Buckley's fielder's choice to second base.
Connecticut continues non-conference play on Tuesday, March 29 when it travels to the campus of Boston College to challenge the Eagles at 3 p.m. ET.
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