STORRS, Conn. - The UConn baseball team dropped a wild 15-inning contest to Memphis by a score of 3-1 on Sunday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field. The victory for the Tigers (29-13, 9-6) clinched a weekend American Athletic Conference series and dropped the Huskies to 28-17 on the year and 7-8 in conference play.
The contest went through nine innings scoreless before Memphis brought across the game's first run in the top of the 10th. UConn responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the frame, and the contest went to the 15th before the Tigers scored two more. The Huskies couldn't answer again and dropped the three hour, 45 minute marathon.
Jordan Tabakman (Pompton Plains, N.J.) got the start for UConn and fired six scoreless, scattering eight hits (all singles) with no walks and a strikeout. Connor Alexander took the ball for Memphis and lasted eight shutout frames, allowing six hits and a walk with five strikeouts. Both teams turned to their closers in extra innings for six innings each, with Memphis' Nolan Blackwood taking the win and UConn's Patrick Ruotolo (Peabody, Mass.) taking a tough-luck loss after allowing three unearned runs and one hit with no walks and three strikeouts.
At the plate, UConn got a clutch game-tying RBI from Joe DeRoche-Duffin (Santa Ana, Calif.) with a pinch-hit single in the 10th during his only at-bat. Blake Davey (Newport Beach, Calif.) went 3-for-4 and Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) and Willy Yahn (Sharon, Conn.) both had multi-hit efforts for Connecticut.
After six strong from Tabakman, Nico Darras (Laguna Beach, Calif.) came out of the pen for UConn with the bases loaded and one away in the seventh and promptly spun a 6-4-3 double play ball to keep the contest scoreless. Darras would finish his outing with 2.2 perfect innings.
Memphis went ahead in the top of 10th, getting a runner on with an error before bringing an unearned run across on an RBI groundout. The Huskies answered in the last of the 10th, when DeRoche-Duffin blasted an RBI single through the right side to tie the game at 1-1.
Both closers worked scoreless from the 11th through 14th innings, before Memphis broke through in the 15th. A leadoff man reached on an error, and with two away Kane Barrow cracked a two-run home run to give the Tigers a 3-1 lead. The Huskies went quietly in their half of the 15th to give the Tigers an improbable win.
UConn is now 5-3 all-time against Memphis in a series dating back to 1999
Patrick Ruotolo tossed a career-high 6.0 innings, doubling his previous career-best
Blake Davey recorded his fifth three-hit game of 2015