The UConn baseball team fought to the end of the American Athletic Conference championship semifinals Saturday but left the bases loaded in the ninth inning and lost to East Carolina 4-2 at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.
The loss almost certainly killed any chance of a bid to the NCAA tournament. UConn, the No. 6 seed in the AAC tournament, is 35-25. The No .2 seed Pirates (39-20) advanced to Sunday’s championship game against top-seed Houston.
The Huskies had runners on base in every inning and out-hit the Pirates 10-6 but left 13 runners on base. ECU took a 2-0 lead after chasing UConn starter William Montgomerie in the first inning. UConn cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first with a Blake Davey double. The Pirates added single runs in the fifth and eighth innings to go up 4-1, before the Huskies scratched across a run and put the potential go-ahead run on first in a ninth-inning rally that fell short.
The game was delayed 2 hours, 36 minutes by rain in the eighth inning.
The NCAA field will be announced Monday. Baseball America predicts Houston, Tulane, East Carolina and South Florida will represet the AAC.