Baseball: Strong outings from Sears and Quigley propel No. 15 Huskies to series win over Georgetown 


When they met in mid-May last year, the Georgetown Hoyas swept the then-No. 16 UConn baseball team with two walk off wins. Every UConn starter pitched into the sixth inning during the three-game set in Rockville, Maryland, but allowed 18 runs on 24 hits. Although the Huskies got revenge in the Big East Tournament the following weekend, the pitching experienced better results when the two foes battled on Spring Weekend. Across three late April games, the starters surrendered 10 runs on 11 hits as Connecticut, now ranked 15th, took two out of three from the Hoyas. 

Andrew Sears took the bump in the Friday opener for the second straight weekend and followed up his previous start in Cincinnati with his best performance in a Hook C jersey. In his first start in the Nutmeg State in three weeks, the junior lefty took a perfect game into the seventh while striking out a season-high 11 batters.  

Even though Sears allowed four runs, most of which came after Will Nowak relieved him, UConn’s offense supported his stellar outing with opportunistic hitting. Connecticut first capitalized on its chances in the third when Ben Huber’s RBI infield single ricocheted off the pitching mound.  

With Paul Tammaro on first following an RBI single and starter Everett Catlett out of the game, Korey Morton doubled the 2-0 advantage with one swing of the bat as he smacked a 2-2 pitch beyond the left field wall. On top of hitting his eighth homer of the year, the junior leftfielder kept Sears’ perfect game bid alive in the fifth, robbing Austin Kretzschmar of a home run at the wall. 

Owen Carapellotti broke Sears’ perfect game bid in the seventh when he hit an infield single, then subsequently ended the shutout opportunity as he scored on a sacrifice groundout after moving around the bases. On top of Dominic Freeberger, Huber and Bryan Padilla racking up RBIs in retaliation in the bottom half, Tammaro put the icing on the cake as his two-run jack landed in the Husky bullpen. 

Two singles and a walk loaded the bases to begin the eighth, knocking Sears out of the game, before Georgetown scored four runs behind a Carapellotti three-run shot, but Ryan Daniels gave the Hook C a run back with an RBI single, and Braden Quinn finished the game in the ninth for the 12-5 victory. 

For the third consecutive weekend, the Huskies wrapped up their Big East series with a Saturday doubleheader because of impending inclement weather. Stephen Quigley did not go as long as Sears did in the opening game of the twin bill, but pitched well into the sixth inning while allowing two runs and striking out four. 

Both of those runs came in the third, with the first scoring on a Carapellotti triple. Big East Player of the Week Jake Hyde doubled the lead with a double to right center, but before the Hoyas did more damage, Daniels snagged a line drive in mid-air to end the frame. Connecticut subsequently responded as Jake Studley’s RBI single got past the left side of the infield. The Hoyas nearly escaped the fourth inning unscathed, but David Smith’s triple tied the game before Daniels gave UConn its first lead of the day. 

Quigley and Brady Afthim stranded the tying run in consecutive innings, but Carapellotti continued to be a Husky killer as his fielder’s choice brought Andrew Bergeron home from third for the equalizing run. Luke Broadhurst shattered the ice almost immediately in the bottom half as he banged a full-count, go-ahead shot off the pole for his 10th homer of the year. With a program milestone on the line, Justin Willis entered the game in the top of the eighth, stranding two in scoring position as he escaped the jam.  

The Hook C tacked on some insurance runs in the bottom half as Freeberger walked with the bases loaded and Studley brought another home on a fielder’s choice. Willis sent the Hoyas down in order in the ninth, becoming the program’s all-time saves leader as Connecticut secured the series win 6-3. 

After not pitching against the Musketeers due to injury, Ian Cooke made his return in the second leg of the doubleheader, taking the bump for the first time since April 6. The sophomore righty allowed four runs in three innings of work despite punching out five before being relieved after a leadoff walk in the fourth inning, but UConn’s offense could not support him as Big East Pitcher of the Week Jake Bloss stood on the other side. The Huskies scored once off the conference’s strikeout leader as Studley ripped an RBI single, but otherwise had no answers for the graduate righty as he struck out six in five innings. 

Cooke sat down the first two hitters he faced in the second, but two full-count walks and two run-scoring singles put Georgetown ahead by two. They nearly added to that lead in the third on a single and an error, but Cooke escaped the jam on a sac bunt and two strikeouts. When Jack Sullivan relieved the sophomore righty, the Hoyas added two more runs with consecutive singles from Hyde and Michael Eze. 

A Smith single put two Hook C runners in scoring position with one out in the seventh, but when Daniels hit a sacrifice fly that brought Padilla home, the redshirt junior outfielder got thrown out at third base. Carapellotti finished off his best weekend of the season in the following half inning with his second homer in three games. Connecticut had one more chance in the bottom of the ninth as Carson Frye hit Tammaro with a pitch and Smith walked, but Jordan Yoder recorded the final out as Georgetown avoided the sweep 6-2. 

The Huskies (29-11, 6-3 Big East) head to Dunkin’ Park in Hartford one last time in 2023 as they host the Yale Bulldogs on Tuesday, April 25, at 6:05 p.m. 

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