GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU Media Relations) – Tim Cate tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts, while Willy Yahn collected a game-high three hits helping UCONN even the American Athletic Conference weekend series with a 5-1 win over No. 20 East Carolina Saturday night in game two of a day-night doubleheader at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win the Huskies improve to 21-17 overall and 6-4 in league play, while the Pirates fall to 25-14 and 6-5.
Cate (2-1) allowed one run (earned) over his seven strong frames giving up five hits and walking one. He retired 12 of the last 13 batters he faced before turning the ball over to Patrick Ruotolo, who notched his fourth save of the year. The right-hander tossed two innings of shutout relief setting the Pirates down in order in both frames.
Jimmy Boyd (5-3) took the loss surrendering three runs (all earned) on six hits with a pair of walks, four punch outs and two wild pitches. Matt Bridges (0.2 IP, 1 K), Sam Lanier (0.2 IP, 1 BB, 1 K) and Chris Holba (0.1 IP) had scoreless outings for the Pirates, while Denny Brady gave up two runs (both earned) on three hits in two-third of an inning.
Yahn recorded three of UCONN’s 10 hits, while Joe DeRoche-Duffin and John Toppa each added a pair of base knocks. Toppa scored two of the Huskies five runs, while Bryan Daniello, Zac Susi and Yahn each drove in a run.
Turner Brown, Parker Lamm, Eric Tyler (double), Travis Watkins and Dwanya Williams-Sutton accounted for all five of ECU’s hits in the contest. Tyler had the lone RBI plating Lamm in the third stanza.
How It Happened:
Trailing 1-0 going to the seventh frame, UCONN scored three runs to take a 3-1 lead – its first of the series. DeRoche-Duffin got things going with a one-out single and moved over to third two batters later on Tyler Gnesda’s shot to left field line. Toppa followed with a double down the right field line plating DeRoche-Duffin and tying the game at one-all. The first of two Boyd wild pitches accounted for the go-ahead run pushing across Gnesda which put runners on second and third. Another wild pitch scored Toppa making it a 3-1 ball game.
ECU jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third inning on Tyler’s RBI double. Lamm laced a single to right center and came around to score on Tyler’s perfectly executed hit and run down the right field line.
UCONN extended its lead to four, 5-1, with a pair of runs in the ninth inning to cap the scoring. Aaron Hill had a one-out double that pushed across Toppa and Yahn drove in Hill on his single to right field with two outs.
ECU and UCONN will play the rubber-match of the three-game series on Sunday, April 24 with a 12:30 p.m. (ET) scheduled first pitch.