GREENVILLE, N.C. - Husky starting pitchers combined for 21 strikeouts in 15.0 innings pitched as the UConn baseball team earned a doubleheader split vs. No. 20 ECU on Saturday, April 23 at Clark-LeClair Stadium. The Huskies fell, 2-1, in 10 innings to the Pirates in game one before bouncing back with a 5-1 victory in the nightcap.
With the split, Connecticut moves to 21-17 overall and 6-4 in American Athletic Conference play, while East Carolina moves to 25-14 overall and 6-5 in the league.
Junior LHP Anthony Kay (Stony Brook, N.Y.) did not factor in the decision despite a masterful 8.0 inning, one-run performance. The Husky ace matched a career-high with 10 strikeouts and moved into sole possession of fourth on the program's all-time punch-out list (223) after beginning the day in eighth.
At the plate, senior OF Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) collected two hits in five at-bats and scored a run, while senior 1B Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) notched the team's lone RBI with a 1-for-4 showing at the dish.
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the home half of the second inning, breaking onto the scoreboard via a two-out double off the bat of Turner Brown.
The score held until the top of the eighth when Sundberg singled, advanced to third on a throwing error by the shortstop, and came around to score on an RBI single off the bat of Melley.
ECU scored the game-winner in the bottom of the 10th, walking off on a bases-loaded walk.
Freshman LHP Tim Cate (2-1) dazzled in his seventh start of the season, tossing 7.0 innings of one-run ball with a career-best 11 strikeouts on the way to his second career win. Junior closer Patrick Ruotolo (Peabody, Mass.) finished off the final two innings en route to his fourth save of 2016.
Three Huskies notched multi-hit games at the dish, led by a 3-for-5 showing from sophomore 3B Willy Yahn (Sharon, Conn.). Senior OF Joe DeRoche-Duffin (Santa Ana, Calif.) finished 2-for-5 with a run scored, while freshman John Toppa (Portsmouth, R.I.) scored twice and picked up two hits in four at-bats.
The Pirates opened the scoring in the second when Eric Tyler doubled down the right field line to plate a run and push the home team ahead, 1-0.
Connecticut responded in the top of the seventh with three runs on three hits. After singles from DeRoche-Duffin and Tyler Gnesda (Laguna Nigel, Calif.), freshman OF John Toppa (Portsmouth, R.I.) knotted the game up at 1-1 with a two-out double down the right field line before back-to-back wild pitches scored two runs and pushed the Husky advantage to 3-1.
The Huskies padded the cushion with two runs in the ninth courtesy of base knocks off the bat of Aaron Hill (Groton, Conn.) and Yahn.
With a walk in the ninth, Melley pushed his team-leading reached-base streak to 22.
The two programs wrap up the three-game series on Sunday, April 24 with a 12:30 p.m. first pitch.