Baseball: No. 20 Hook C annihilates UHart in midweek split 

UConn Baseball won 9-8 after an 11 inning battle against Rutgers University at Elliot Ballpark on Friday, March 24, 2023. The Huskies will next play Boston College on Tuesday, March 28 at 3:05 pm on their home turf. Photo by Brianna Johnson/Daily Campus.

As the Connecticut weather starts to turn for the better, the No. 20 UConn baseball team continued its strong beginning of the season after going 1-1 over two midweek matchups, yielding to No. 14 Boston College on Tuesday before turning their performance around in a 17-1 embarrassment of UHartford on Wednesday. 

Action kicked off from Elliot Ballpark in Storrs, Connecticut with a beautiful afternoon setting, perfect for baseball. Stephen Quigley got the nod for the ‘skies and was tasked with suppressing a stout BC Eagles lineup. The graduate student was able to work through 3.2 innings, surrendering five runs on seven innings; he was credited with the loss. The Eagles offense came through with runs in the second and third before tacking on three runs in the fourth, taking a 5-0 lead and pushing Quigley from the game. Thomas Ellisen was effective in relief for UConn, navigating 4.1 innings without allowing a run while striking out three. 

The Huskies responded with two runs in the bottom of the fourth via run-scoring singles from Bryan Padilla and Paul Tammaro to cut the deficit to 5-2, but they were held scoreless until another RBI hit from Padilla in the eight made the score 5-3. Boston College tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth, with Andrew Roman putting the final nail in the coffin as he closed the bottom of the ninth to secure the 6-3 victory with his fifth save of the season. Eagles starter A.J. Colarusso was credited with the win after working through the first three innings, not allowing a run or a walk while striking out two. 

If the loss had discouraged Connecticut, it sure didn’t seem like it the way that the team performed on Wednesday against the Hartford Hawks. The team needed just two innings to push 17 runs across the plate, starting right out the gate in the first inning with 10 runs against Hawks starter Derek Benzin, the most runs for the Hook C in a single inning this season. Ben “Albino Rhino” Huber, Jake Studley, Luke Broadhurst and Ryan Daniels all swatted run-scoring doubles to give Connecticut a 4-0 start. An error chased home another run before Ryan Hyde singled one home and Dominic Freeberger doubled in two more to make it 8-0 in the first. The Albino Rhino capped the inning off with a two-run blast to give UConn an even 10 runs after one inning of action. 

The Hook C offense got back to work in the bottom of the fifth. The team loaded the bases before a walk, hit-by-pitch, walk, and fielder’s choice gave the Huskies four more runs without recording a base hit. Drew Kron singled two more in and Tammaro slapped an RBI-sacrifice fly to up the Connecticut lead to a whopping 17-0 through five innings. Hartford’s lone run of the game came on a sacrifice fly in the sixth, and the mercy rule went into effect after the top of the seventh inning given UConn’s double-digit lead. Garrett Coe received the win for the Huskies after starting and going the first two innings without allowing a run. Five different pitchers worked one inning apiece in relief for Connecticut during the seven-inning affair. 

After going 1-1 during the week, Connecticut’s record now stands at an impressive 17-6 in the early going of the season. That record is the best mark among all of the Big East teams and positions the Huskies up well for when conference play begins with an April 6 matchup against St. John’s. 

Hook C’s next matchup is set to come versus the University of Maryland Baltimore County. The two teams will play a three-game series, beginning Friday with a 3:05 p.m. start time at Elliot Ballpark in Storrs, Connecticut. Game two will be played on Saturday at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford, Connecticut, this time with a 2:05 first pitch before action returns to Storrs on Sunday beginning at 1:05 p.m. Fans can stream the first game of the series live on UConn+ and can watch game three on The CW Hartford. Live audio will be available on MIXLR for all three contests. 

Leave a Reply