STORRS, Conn. - A nightmarish five-run ninth inning brought the Bearcats back from a 4-0 deficit to stun the Huskies 5-4 on Friday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field.
The ninth inning ruined a spectacular performance from sophomore left-hander Tim Cate. Cate pitched a career-high eight shutout innings and recorded 11 strikeouts. It is the fourth double-digit strikeout game for Cate this season.
Cate danced around a bases loaded, no one out jam in the first with a pair of strikeouts and a fielder's choice. Cate utilized his breaking ball, fastball mix to keep the Bearcats off the scoreboard and bounce back from a pair of bad outings the past two weeks.
UConn used a two-out rally in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Zac Susi reached on an infield single and quickly came around to score on an RBI double from junior Isaac Feldstein off the right center field fence.
Feldstein added to the lead with his fourth home run of the season, a three-run no doubter to left field that made it 3-0 Huskies. All four runs scored by the Huskies came with two outs. Feldstein registered his team-leading 10th multi-RBI game and notched his first four-RBI game of the season.
The Huskies could not tack on to the lead and that ended up costing the Huskies. Dan Rajkowski came in to start the ninth with a 4-0 lead. Rajkowski entered with six-straight scoreless appearances but left the game without recording an out, giving up two hits and a walk to load the bases.
John Russell entered and gave up a grand slam to even up the ballgame off the bat of A.J. Bumpass. With the shock of the game being tied still hanging in the air, Connor McVey singled, stole second and third with no one out. Russell buckled down to strike out the next two batters.
Jace Mercer stood in and on the second pitch of the at-bat, the ball appeared to hit Mercer. Mercer began walking to first as the ball skipped away from Zac Susi. As the ball rolled away, McVey sprinted across home plate to take a controversial 5-4 lead. The umpires convened and deemed it a live ball, confirming a 5-4 Bearcats lead.
The Huskies have lost six of their last seven conference games and hope to rebound on Saturday at 1 p.m.
- Since being ranked on April 10, the Huskies are 3-8 and have dropped six of last seven conference games.
- Isaac Feldstein recorded his 10th multi-RBI game and first four-RBI game of the season.
- Eight of the 10 UConn hits came from the 2-5 batters in the Husky order (Yahn-Susi-Feldstein-Toppa). Yahn, Susi and Feldstein all recorded multi-hit efforts.
- John Toppa extended his hit streak to 10 games.