Streaking UConn Rolls into American Athletic Conference Baseball Championship Semi-Finals

CLEARWATER — UConn freshman Tim Cate struck out nine batters in 7 1/3 innings to lead UConn to a 9-1 win against USF Thursday at the American Athletic Conference Baseball Championship at Bright House Field. American Athletic Conference Player of the Year Joe DeRoche-Duffin was the hitting star for the Huskies and went 4-for-6 with a pair of doubles. In doing so, UConn (35-22) extended its winning streak to 11 games.

Photo- Don Miller College Baseball Central

Photo- Don Miller College Baseball Central

After a well deserved “beach day” off on  Friday, the Huskies will face either USF or Memphis on Saturday.

“I dont want our guys to see a baseball tomorrow. I want them to take some time away and enjoy the beach, they’ve earned it. We will be ready to come back Saturday.” said UConn Head Coach Jim Penders.

UConn broke open a 1-1 game, adding three runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Bryan Daniello doubled to left to score two runs giving the Huskies a 3-1 lead. Daniello came around to score on a one-out grounder to first to make it 4-1.

A single Bobby Melley and a double DeRoche-Duffin stretched the lead to 6-1. Melley came home on Daniello’s sacrifce fly to give UConn a 7-1 lead.

From there Cate made sure the lead would stand, allowing the Bulls just four hits on the night.

“He’s an elite guy, he is every bit as good as their Friday night guy (Anthony Kay) and he may be a first rounder. He was really good, he was really good, and he was too much for us tonight.” said USF Head Coach Mark Kingston.

USF starter Tommy Eveld took the loss pitching four innings, plus a couple of batters leaving the game with shoulder stiffness. Joe Cavallaro, Andrew Perez and Brad Labozetta combined to work the final five innings.

Offensively for the Bulls, Joe Genord accounted for the only run of the night for USF with a towering home run to left-field in the second inning.

Tuesday, May 24 (CBS Sports Network)

Game 1 – No. 5 Houston 9, vs. No. 4 Cincinnati 1

Game 2 – No. 1 Tulane 4, No. 8 UCF 3

Wednesday, May 25 (American Digital Network)

Game 3 – No. 7 USF 4, No. 2 East Carolina 2

Game 4 – No. 3 UConn 6, No. 6 Memphis 2

Game 5 – UCF 7, Cincinnati 6 (10 innings) …………………………………. (Cincinnati eliminated)

Thursday, May 26 (American Digital Network)

Game 6 – Memphis 5, East Carolina 4………………………………….. (East Carolina eliminated)

Game 7 – Houston 5, Tulane 3

Game 8 – UConn 9, USF 1

Friday, May 27 (American Digital Network)

Game 9 – Tulane (38-18) vs. UCF (26-32)……………………………………………………………. 11 a.m.

Game 10 – USF (24-32) vs. Memphis (20-37)……………………………………………………….. 3 p.m.

Saturday, May 28 (American Digital Network)

Game 11 – Houston (35-22) vs. Winner of Game 9…………………………………………….. 10 a.m.

Game 12 – UConn (35-22) vs. Winner of Game 10……………………………………………….. 1 p.m.

Game 13 – Loser of Game 11 vs. Winner of Game 11 (if necessary)…………….. 4:30 p.m.

Game 14 – Loser of Game 12 vs. Winner of Game 12 (if necessary)…………….. 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 29 (ESPNews)

Game 15 – Semifinal winners…………………………………………………………………………………. Noon

all times Eastern

About the Author

Don Miller
Don is a lifelong baseball fan and that life is getting pretty long. He makes his living at home in New Port Richey, Florida. A Tampa native he served as a fantasy correspondent for ESPN for the Tampa Bay Rays, back when they were called the Devil Rays. He loves college baseball, Tampa sports and follows them both with unrivaled passion. Don is also a member of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and his work has been featured on a number of baseball, sports, business and financial venues.