STORRS, Conn. - The Huskies swept a doubleheader against No. 23 USF at J.O. Christian Field on Friday by scores of 2-1 and 6-2.
At the completion of Game 2, the Huskies sweep vaulted UConn into a four-way tie for first place with Houston and UCF still to play on Friday.
UConn moves to 5-0 against top 25 opponents this season with the pair of victories over the Bulls.
Game 1 Recap
In game one, Cate relied heavily on his breaking ball to record a career-high 14 strikeouts against the Bulls. Cate lasted seven innings, allowed six hits and one earned run as he kept the Huskies in the ballgame.
Trailing 1-0 heading to the bottom of the seventh, Isaac Feldstein (Palo Alto, Calif.) lead off the frame on a triple that rolled past Garrett Zech in center field on a diving attempt. Willy Yahn lined the next pitch into right field to even up the score, 1-1.
Ryan Radue tossed a scoreless eighth inning with the help of UConn center fielder Troy Stefanski. Stefanski raced in on a low liner and made a diving catch and then scrambled to his feet and doubled off the runner at first to end the inning.
The Huskies ran into trouble in the ninth but P.J. Poulin put out the fire for UConn. The left-hander found himself in another bases loaded jam, a spot Poulin has been accustomed to this season. Just as he has previously, Poulin utilized a double play ball to help escape trouble. Poulin got a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning and eventually extra innings.
The Huskies loaded the bases quickly in the 10th inning. Back-to-back singles from Chris Winkel and Anthony Prato, followed by a hit-by-pitch to John Toppa, loaded the bases for Zac Susi with no-one out. Susi walked-off the Huskies on a line drive RBI single into left center field to give the Huskies the first game, 2-1.
Game 2 Recap
In game two, the Huskies received stellar pitching from the combination of Feole and closer John Russell.
Feole logged seven innings of work allowed just five hits, two runs and tied a career-high with eight strikeouts.
UConn aided Feole with two quick runs in the first inning. Feldstein hit a broken bat RBI double down the left field line to open the UConn scoring. Later in the inning, Feldstein scored on the third wild pitch of the inning for USF starter, Shane McClanahan, to take a 2-0 lead.
Willy Yahn notched an RBI double of his own in the third, lifting UConn to a 3-1 advantage. Yahn collected three hits in the doubleheader and now has 197 hits for his career.
Anthony Prato provided key insurance runs in the eighth inning with a blooper into center field that was just out of reach of Zech and resulted in a two-run single for Prato with Stefanski off on contact, able to score from first base.
John Russell had an uneventful two perfect innings for the Huskies, retiring all six hitters that he faced. Yahn put an exclamation point on the day with a great catch in foul territory to close out the game.
Russell earned his 13th save of the season and tied Kevin Vance ('11) for most saves in a single-season for a UConn closer. Vance locked down 13 saves in the 2011 season for the Huskies.
UConn attempts to earn the sweep with the series finale on tap for Saturday, May 13 at 11 a.m.
UConn is 10-2 at J.O. Christian Field this season and 7-1 against conference foes.
UConn moves to 5-0 against top 25 opponents this season (3-0 against ECU, 2-0 USF). The last time the Huskies knocked off a top 25 opponent at home was 2010 against No. 19 Rutgers (April 23-24)
The Huskies grabbed a pair of victories over the Bulls at J.O. Christian Field. It is the first time the Huskies have won a game and series against USF in Storrs since the 2011 season. A series the Huskies swept on May 7-9.