AMHERST, Mass. – Despite pounding out nine hits, the UConn baseball team dropped a 9-5 midweek contest to UMass on Tuesday at Earl Lorden Field. The loss snapped the Huskies’ six-game winning streak and moved the team to 19-16 overall, while the Minutemen jump to 8-17 with the victory.
In total, UConn used eight different pitchers, including the first career start for sophomore RHP Joe Rivera (Plantsville, Conn.), who lasted 2.1 innings with a strikeout and two runs allowed.
At the plate, reigning American Athletic Conference Player of the Week Joe DeRoche-Duffin (Santa Ana, Calif.) finished 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs, while John Toppa (Portsmouth, R.I.) and Aaron Hill (Groton, Conn.) each recorded a pair of hits in the setback.
The Minutemen jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first after working back-to-back walks and picking up an RBI single but Rivera limited the damage, picking a runner off second base and ending the frame with his first strikeout of the afternoon.
Connecticut responded half an inning later when Toppa notched his 12th RBI of the season with an infield single, plating Tyler Gnesda (Laguna Nigel, Calif.), who doubled down the right field line with one down.
After scoring a run to knot it up in the third, UMass broke out for four runs on three hits in the home half of the fourth, including a three-run double off the bat of Dylan Morris. UConn countered with three runs on four hits in the top of the fifth. After an RBI double from Willy Yahn (Sharon, Conn.), Melley and DeRoche-Duffin recorded back-to-back RBI singles to cut the deficit to 6-5.
UMass added three insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth to push the advantage to 9-5.
Connecticut falls to 88-72-3 all-time against UMass in a series dating back to the 1900 season.
The Huskies continue a nine-game stretch away from home on Wednesday, April 20 when they challenge UMass Lowell at LeLacheur Field at 7 p.m.
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