STORRS, Conn. - Junior John Russell set a new single-season record with his 14th save of the season to lock down a 6-4 win for the Huskies on Friday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field.
Leading 6-4 in the ninth and the tying run at the plate for the Pirates, Russell got a chopper back up the middle that Aaron Hill gathered, touched the second base bag and relayed to first to complete the fourth double play of the series and close out a series win.
The Huskies carried last night's momentum into the game by plating two runs in the first. Zac Susi put the Huskies on top with an RBI groundout to short, the 39th RBI of the season for Susi, tying him for the team lead. Willy Yahn and John Toppa hit back-to-back doubles to make it 2-0 Huskies in the first.
Zac Susi led the offense with his 18th multi-hit game of the season, tying Willy Yahn for the team lead. Susi has recorded five hits in the first two games of the series.
UConn tacked on in the third behind a three-run frame to make it 5-0 Huskies. Alex LeFevre drilled a two-out, two-run dinger down the left field line, the second homer in as many days for LeFevre. LeFevre has driven in six of his 12 RBIs this season over the last three games.
Will Montgomerie benefited from the run support on the hill recording his sixth win of the season. Montgomerie tied a season-high with seven innings pitched on Friday and notched his 15th win of his UConn career. The right-hander registered six strikeouts to climb to 219 strikeouts for his career. Montgomerie ranks sixth all-time in UConn history, passing Brian Herosian ('73, 214), Greg Nappo ('11, 215) and Anthony Marzi ('13, 217).
The victory moves UConn to nine games over .500 for the second time this season (19-10) at 31-22 and jumps to 14-9 in The American. The Huskies currently sit 0.5 games back of USF in the conference standings.
If USF loses tonight or tomorrow against UCF, a UConn win tomorrow would clinch a share of the American Athletic Conference regular season title. With tiebreaker scenarios, the Huskies could finish anywhere from first to fourth in the pecking order for The American Conference Championship.
Heading into the series finale against the Pirates on Saturday, May 20, the Huskies celebrate Senior Day by honoring the seven UConn seniors prior to their final game at J.O. Christian field at 1 p.m.