It’s usually in the summer months where the UConn baseball team sees some real competitive games, yet that’s what made Friday’s fall ball matchup against Long Island University an even better watch.
It wasn’t a demolition like the team’s 28-6 blowout over their friends at Avery Point. Instead, the matchup was a close finish; when the Huskies really needed their guys to step up, they delivered.
It all started with graduate student Paul Tammaro, a .389 hitter during the team’s entire 2023 season. In his first at-bat of the game, the infielder smacked one deep for the team’s first run of the afternoon in what was just the start of an impressive showing. However, he wouldn’t be the only player that would show off their power.
Stepping up to the plate in the bottom of the second was Maddix Dalena. For the 6’3” first baseman, Friday’s matchup was another opportunity for him to showcase his development after his 2023 season where he batted .245 at the plate. Just like Tammaro did in his first at-bat, Dalena would send one out for the team’s second home run of the game and a two-run lead that would come with it. Those two runs helped to energize a massive offensive output in the coming innings.
As the team continued to hold LIU to a shutout through two, the runs continued to come from Tammaro, who would hit another home run for his second of the game and a 3-0 lead. While the team’s shutout would come to an end on an RBI from the Sharks in the fifth, the game completely ramped up in the eighth inning with UConn leading 4-2 after a seventh run score from LIU.
At the plate, the pressure was on for Dalena. It may have been late in the game but he was not done raking, adding a three-home run to a night that included two home runs, four runs and four RBIs. It gave the Hook C a 7-2 lead and plenty of confidence toward securing the dub and finishing off an undefeated fall ball season.
But LIU was not going to let the Huskies off without a fight. With Braden Quinn on the mound, the Sharks’ offense exploded for four runs to narrow the deficit to one. However, Quinn came back and would not let LIU grab the lead. It was all that the Huskies needed as after a pair of RBI’s gave the Hook C some cushion headed into the bottom of the 12th: they’d finally grab a 9-6 win in a long brawl.
With a now undefeated fall ball schedule after two games, the Huskies will now end their fall activities off with the team’s alumni game at 2:30 p.m. at Elliot Ballpark. For now, it’ll be a while until UConn baseball fans get to watch the team strive for another chance to compete for college baseball glory.