NCAA Tournament: UConn baseball knocks off Georgia Tech, 7-6

Steve Slade/UConn Athletics

(WTNH)–UConn baseball is on fire. The Huskies entered the NCAA Tournament winners of 13 of their last 14 games, including a run through the AAC Tournament.

Now, they’re two wins away from advancing to the Super Regionals.

UConn exploded for seven runs in the second inning and held on late to outlast second-seeded Georgia Tech, 7-6, in the opening round of the Gainesville regional in Florida on Friday.

Cate pitched
Cate, from Manchester, pitched into the sixth with a no-hitter. (Steve Slade/UConn Athletics)

Freshman Tim Cate, from Manchester, was brilliant for the Huskies, pitching a no-hitter into the fifth. He gave up two runs in six innings of work, and struck out six.

The Huskies’ offense jimped all over Tech starter Zac Ryan, tagging him with six runs on five hits. in 1.2 innings pitched. Tyler Gnesda came through with a two-run single, Willy Yahn followed with his own, and three other Huskies had run-scoring hits in a huge second inning.

Georgia Tech’s Matt Gonzalez closed the gap to 7-4 with a two-run homer in the eighth, and the Yellowjackets also scored two runs in the ninth, but UConn closer Patrick Ruotolo shut the door.

UConn was given a 3-seed in the NCAA’s (typical AAC disrespect), but if people filled out brackets for the baseball tournament like they do basketball, the Huskies might have been a popular pick to make a run. If they do want to make it out of Gainesville though, they’ll have to beat the No. 1 team in the nation, SEC champion Florida, at least once.

The Huskies will take on the winner of Florida and Bethune-Cookman in the winners’ bracket on Saturday.

UConn will start AAC Pitcher of the Year Anthony Kay, who will likely be a first-round pick in the MLB Draft this month.

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