After UConn’s disappointing series loss to Cincinnati this weekend, head coach Jim Penders gave his team the option: You can take your scheduled off day on Monday, or you can come in and grind. It wasn’t a tough decision at all.
“We have an off day tomorrow and [Penders] said ‘What are we gonna do with it, are we gonna work or just kinda do nothing?’ So I think all the guys are gonna get back in the cage and revamp what we’re doing,” freshman catcher Patrick Winkel said after Sunday’s game.
Whatever the Huskies did in that “optional” (heavy quotation marks) Monday session clearly paid off Tuesday, equaling the combined run total of their two weekend losses in an 11-6 win over Bryant in which every UConn starter recorded a hit.
UConn conceded the first run in the game, but the offense would go into overdrive in middle innings, eight runs between the fourth and the sixth. Bryant brought the Huskies’ lead down to two in the seventh inning, but would give up three more runs in the top of the eighth before the game was called.
Christian Fedko was the engine behind UConn’s offensive success by getting back to his roots: Hitting doubles. His first of the game opened up scoring for the Huskies, taking a pitch from Bryant starter John McDonald down the left field line, which drove in shortstop Anthony Prato.
Fedko’s second of the game came in the sixth inning. With the bases loaded, he hit a big fly deep to left field; it was nearly a grand slam, but the sophomore would have to settle for a two-RBI double.
Senior center fielder Michael Woodworth also continued his red hot first half, going 3-4 with three singles and a stolen base, coming around to score all three times. Anthony Nucerino earned a spot in the tops of the order with his recent play, and he did not disappoint, going 2-4 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI, his fifth-straight multi-hit game.
Four pitchers took the mound for the Huskies, but none of them had particularly great outings. Kenny Haus started the game and gave up three earned runs on six hits, Karl Johnson relieved him for 2.2 innings, allowed just one hit and recorded his first win as a Husky but gave up six (!) walks. Joe Simeone was pulled before going a full inning, allowing two runs on two hits.
UConn will look to keep the good vibes going this Wednesday when they take on Northeastern at 3 p.m. in J.O. Christian Field.
Luke Swanson is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.