Like many of its games this year, the No. 25 UConn baseball team took care of business on Wednesday, crushing the Bryant Bulldogs 9-1 at home.
The Huskies got their bats moving early in the afternoon outing, starting with Erik Stock crushing a 1-0 pitch for a solo home run in the first inning. Connecticut was only getting started, as they tacked on three more runs in the third inning, one of which coming on a Chris Brown RBI single. A one-two punch of a 2 RBI double from Casey Dana and a sacrifice fly from T.C. Simmons in the fourth made it an early 7-0 lead.
But the Huskies weren’t done there. Simmons struck again in the sixth with a solo home run, and Stock added a ninth run for Connecticut with an RBI fielder’s choice. All-in-all, it was a great day for the UConn bats, who earned 11 hits. They saw the ball well, drawing eight walks.
After the fourth, coach Jim Penders decided that it was the end of starter Cole Chudoba’s outing due to the massive lead, as well as Chudoba’s pitch count. After four full innings, the graduate student threw 75 pitches, allowing no runs or walks. He gave up five hits, but struck out seven Bulldogs in his first career win as a Husky.
After Chudoba, the UConn bullpen was more than serviceable, with the underclassmen combination of Hector Alejandro, Ian Cooke and Sam Favieri combining for three innings of no-hit baseball. Bryant got its first run on the board in the eighth after Brady Afthim allowed an RBI double, but was able to close out the inning on a strikeout. After a quick 1-2-3 inning from Devin Kirby in the ninth, the Huskies walked away with their 15th win of the season.
Stock was a major contributor to the offense as usual on Wednesday, going 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs and a home run. He was a triple shy of the cycle. His 20+ game hit streak may have been broken over the team’s long California road trip, but Stock’s bat seems to have no signs of cooling down. With this performance, he is hitting 0.410 on the season, the highest batting average on the team.
Dana had himself quite the game as well, going 2-for-3 before subbing out for Korey Morton. His triple gave the dynamic duo of him and Stock a combined cycle. The transfer student has made a great impression on the UConn fans early this year, driving in 22 runs to date.
With this win, UConn improves to 15-4 on the season, its first win as a ranked team this year, according to D1Baseball.com. It hopes to add more to its resume this weekend in a home-away-home series against the University of Rhode Island. The Huskies are undefeated at 2-0 at Elliot Ballpark this year.