The Huskies really had to hustle to the airport to catch their flight home after a long, four-plus hour game against Coastal Carolina wrapped up their long weekend in Conway, S.C. The game didn’t go UConn’s way, as Coastal scored a ton early and held on for a 12-10 win.
The UConn baseball team (4-6) ended up splitting the weekend in Conway, 2-2, as well as the mini-series with the Chanticleers (8-3) 1-1 after winning 5-4 in 12 innings on Sunday. It was clear from the start there was going to be a lot of offense in Monday’s game. UConn scored two runs in the top of the first inning on a Christian Fedko RBI single and a Kevin Ferrer RBI double. Coastal Carolina answered right back in the bottom of first, as Alex Gatinelli hit a two-run home run to tie the game.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Chanticleers scored three more runs, knocking Huskies’ pitcher Pat Gallagher from the game. His first career start was an ugly one; he finished with a line of five hits and five earned runs over 1.1 innings pitched. But it wasn’t just Gallagher who had a rough day on the mound. Everyone who UConn put out there in the early going got knocked around by Coastal Carolina’s lineup.
Brendan O’Donnell gave up three runs in 1.2 innings, and Jimmy Wang and Cody Dunlop each gave up two runs in their innings of work. By the end of the fifth inning, the Chanticleers had a fat 12 on the scoreboard. The Huskies did manage to get two more runs in that span on a pair of Zach Bushling solo home runs — the first two home runs of his career — but the score was still 12-4.
The Huskies showed they don’t quit and clawed their way back into the game. They scored three runs in the seventh on a Pat Winkel sacrifice fly and a Reggie Crawford two-run homer. Then, they scored three more in the eighth on a bases-clearing double by Crawford. Crawford has been an RBI machine for UConn this season, and he added five more on Monday to bring his season total to 17.
The score was now 12-10, and in order for UConn to make up all that ground, it needed some shutdown innings. Sam Favieri, Kenny Campbell and Kenny Haus provided that, combining for three scoreless innings to allow the Huskies to come back.
In the ninth inning, UConn got the tying run to the plate, but that was it; Coastal Carolina escaped with the 12-10 victory. Gallagher was tagged with the loss, while Coastal’s Reese Maniscalco picked up his first win of the season.
There were obviously some major negatives in this game for the Huskies — namely the pitching in the first five innings, which surrendered 12 runs, 11 hits, six walks and three hit batters. But there were also some positives, like the offense putting up 10 runs on 11 hits. Most importantly, the team didn’t give up when it was 12-4. They continued to fight and made the game interesting. It wasn’t their day, but this team is showing no signs of giving up despite the 4-6 start to the season. There’s a lot of baseball left to be played, and UConn is still a dangerous team.
The Huskies will look to bounce back next weekend with a four-game series against Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas.