CLEARWATER, Fla - The UConn baseball team defeated Cincinnati 12-3 in its opening game of the American Championship against Cincinnati at Spectrum Field on Tuesday. The Huskies advance to the winners' bracket and next play Houston on Thursday at 3:00 p.m.
The Huskies (32-23) offense exploded for 12 runs on 10 hits to set a season-high for runs in a game this season. Anthony Prato recorded a four-hit effort to notch his second four-hit game of his career. He scored three runs and drove in three for the Huskies.
P.J. Poulin made his fifth start of the season for the Huskies and gave the Huskies four innings of work. Allowing just one run on six hits and stranded five Cincinnati base runners.
The Huskies trailed 1-0 entering the bottom of the third. John Toppa delivered an RBI double into right center to tie the game. Prato gave the Huskies the lead with an RBI single to plate Toppa and push the Huskies ahead, 2-1.
After the Bearcats tied the game in the fifth, Isaac Feldstein responded with an RBI double to take a 4-3 lead. Feldstein notched his 40th RBI of the year and team-leading 17th two-bagger.
Sam Nepiarsky settled things down out of the bullpen picking up his first career save with four perfect innings out of the pen. Nepiarsky tied his career-high with six punch-outs.
The offense tacked on to the 4-3 lead in the seventh inning. After the Bearcats committed a couple of errors and Feldstein intentionally walked with two outs, Willy Yahn hit his second-career grand slam to break the game open, 8-3.
Prato capped off the victory in the eighth with a two-run triple into the right field corner making it 11-3.
The Huskies advance to a winner's bracket contest on Thursday, May 25 at 3 p.m. against No. 25 Houston. The game can be streamed on The American Digital Network or on 91.7 FM WHUS/fm.whus.org.
Sam Nepiarsky recorded his first career save in four perfect innings of work. The right-hander tied his career-high with six strikeouts.
Anthony Prato went 4-5 with three runs scored and three RBIs, recording his second career three-hit game and tied a career-high in runs scored and RBIs
Willy Yahn hit his second career grand slam, the first came against William & Mary in Northridge, Calif. on March 11, 2016.
Yahn recorded a season-high 4 RBIs on Tuesday.
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