GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The UConn baseball team closed out its 2016 season with a 7-5 setback to second-seeded Georgia Tech in NCAA Regional action on Sunday afternoon in front of over 1,500 fans at McKethan Stadium. Connecticut concludes its highly-successful campaign at 38-25, while the Yellow Jackets move into the Gainesville Regional final against the top-seeded Florida Gators.
UConn, which earned its fourth NCAA Tournament berth in the last seven seasons, posted the fourth-most wins in program history (38) and the most since it won 45 in 2011. The 2016 Huskies secured the program’s first-ever American Athletic Conference championship, pushing the school’s all-time league tournament title tally to four.
The Huskies rounded out the season with 14 wins in its last 17 contests and grabbed their 29th-ever NCAA Tournament victory on Friday against the Jackets.
Six Huskies record hits in the setback, paced by a 2-for-4 showing from senior SS Bryan Daniello (Norwalk, Conn.), who drove in his 111th career RBI in his final game in a Connecticut uniform. Freshman OF John Toppa (Portsmouth, R.I.) registered two RBIs and scored a run out of the lineup’s six-hole.
Sophomore righty Wills Montgomerie (Lakeville, Conn.), who enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign, took the loss after surrendering five runs on eight hits in 4.0 innings of work. Redshirt-freshman C.J. Dandeneau (North Smithfield, R.I.) shined in two innings of relief, allowing just two baserunners with three strikeouts.
The two teams traded zeros until the fourth inning when Georgia Tech jumped ahead, 5-0, after stringing together five hits in the half inning. The big blow came on Joey Bart’s first career home run – a three-run shot to left center.
Connecticut answered back in home half of the fourth, cutting the deficit to 5-1 after Daniello picked up his 38th RBI of the season with a single into left center that bounced off the centerfielder’s glove. UConn drew closer in the fifth, plating a run on a bases-loaded balk.
After Connecticut tied the game at 5-5 in the eighth, Georgia Tech scored twice in the ninth to move ahead, 7-5. Yellow Jacket closer Matthew Gorst picked up the win, finishing off the final 4.0 innings of the ballgame.
UConn was competing in its 19th-ever NCAA Tournament and fourth under current head coach Jim Penders.
Fans can keep up with the Huskies during the offseason by following @UConnBaseball on Twitter and by using the hashtag #HookC.