STORRS, Conn. - Freshman Zac Susi (Southington, Conn.) provided the offensive spark with three RBIs, while junior LHP Anthony Kay (Stony Brook, N.Y.) fired 8.1 strong innings as the UConn baseball team topped No. 30 Houston, 3-2, on Friday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field in the first game of a three-game conference set. With the win, Connecticut moves to 17-15 overall and 3-3 in American Athletic Conference play, while Houston falls to 20-13 in 2016.
Connecticut extended its winning streak to a season-best four games and has won seven of nine contests played on its home diamond in the 2016 campaign.
Susi registered his third three-hit game of the season in the victory, finishing 3-for-4 with three RBIs, while seniors Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) and Connor Buckley (Stonington, Conn.) each notched two hits.
Kay improved to 4-2 in his junior season after twirling 8.1 innings of two-run (one earned) ball. The Husky ace allowed just six hits and rang up seven Cougars in his ninth start of the season. Junior RHP Patrick Ruotolo (Peabody, Mass.) shut the door with the tying run on in the ninth to secure his second save of the season.
For the 22nd time in 32 games, the Huskies struck first, plating a run in the bottom of the second. After Willy Yahn (Sharon, Conn.) reached on a fielder's choice and stole second, Susi chopped a hard ground ball up the middle that glanced off the glove of Houston starter Andrew Lantrip and into left field.
The Cougars tied the game up at 1-1 in the top of the fourth, grabbing an unearned run on a sacrifice fly. Houston went ahead, 2-1, in the top of the fifth when Joe Davis recorded his team-leading 33rd RBI of the season, singling with two outs to plate Connor Wong.
Connecticut answered with a pair of runs on four hits in the home half of the sixth. Singles off the bat of Melley, Yahn, and Buckley loaded the bases for Susi, who delivered with a two-run single into the left centerfield gap to give UConn a 3-2 advantage.
The win marks the Huskies' first victory over the Cougars since the 2014 conference tournament when they handed their Texas-based foes a 7-2 defeat on May 22, 2014.
The Huskies and Cougars continue the weekend series on Saturday, April 16 with a 1 p.m. contest.
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