STORRS, Conn. - Behind a three-RBI performance from freshman OF John Toppa (Portsmouth, R.I.), the UConn baseball team opened up its American Athletic Conference regular season slate with a 9-4 win over No. 27 Tulane on Friday, April 1 at J.O. Christian Field. With the victory, UConn pushes its winning-streak to four straight and moves to 13-11 overall, while the Green Wave fall to 18-8.
The Huskies move to 4-2 all-time against the Green Wave and collect their second-straight conference-opening win.
Junior ace Anthony Kay (3-2) picked up the win, going 7.0 innings and allowing four runs on just two hits with eight strikeouts. The Husky LHP, who carried a perfect game into the sixth inning, became the ninth pitcher in program history to reach the 200-strikeout plateau in the win. Redshirt-freshman CJ Dandeneau (North Smithfield, R.I.) finished off the final two innings, running his season scoreless streak to 10.0 IP.
At the dish, Toppa finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored, while senior OF Joe DeRoche-Duffin (Santa Anta, Calif.) notched two hits in three at-bats and scored a pair of runs. Additionally, junior 2B Aaron Hill (Groton, Conn.) picked up two hits and tallied an RBI in the victory.
The Huskies struck first for the 17th time in 24 games when Toppa laced a two-out single into right to plate senior Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.). The Huskies broke the game open in the fourth, scoring five runs on three hits and taking advantage of a Green Wave miscue. After a two-run double from Toppa, Hill grabbed his 10th RBI with a single to right before Connecticut pushed two runs across on a throwing error by the shortstop.
UConn tacked on a run in the fifth via an error and scored its final two runs in the sixth after back-to-back RBI base knocks from Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) and DeRoche-Duffin.
The two teams will play a Saturday doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. due to forecasted inclement weather in the Storrs area on Sunday afternoon.