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UConn Baseball Sweeps UMass Lowell in Doubleheader

The Huskies start the season 3-0 after taking both games in a doubleheader against their northern neighbors.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Game One

UConn Baseball opened the season with its second consecutive win, prevailing 7-3 over UMass Lowell.

Freshman shortstop Anthony Prato led the way offensively. He hit 2-for-3 with two RBI, scoring two runs and stealing two bases as well. He also worked a walk.

Things did not start off well for Will Montgomerie. He allowed a lead-off home run to center fielder Chris Sharpe and a one-out single, but used the double play ball to get out of the first.

In the bottom half of the inning, UConn struck back for two runs to take the lead.

Zac Susi, in the lineup at DH, knocked a double down the left-field line to score Prato. A few batters later, first baseman Tyler Gnesda got his first RBI of the year as he singled home Susi to make it 2-1.

Montgomerie and UMass Lowell starter Luke Tomczyk traded outs for the next few innings, with Tomczyk at one point retiring 10 straight UConn batters.

In the fifth, the Huskies knocked Tomczyk out of the game with a trio of runs on only one hit.

Catcher Alex LeFevre was hit by a pitch and then advanced to second on left fielder Chris Winkel’s sacrifice bunt. After Aaron Hill was hit by a pitch, Prato singled the pair of them home. He stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch before Susi walked.

On a designed play, Susi attempted to steal second and gave himself up for Prato to score before he was tagged out.

The River Hawks got a run back on a solo home run by Russ Olive to make it 5-2. They threatened for more with back-to-back singles followed by a wild pitch, but Montgomerie got Michael Young looking on a curveball to end the top half of the sixth.

Montgomerie threw six strong innings, allowing two earned runs, both from solo home runs, on eight hits. He struck out nine and walked just one.

The Huskies added some insurance in the sixth to make sure Montgomerie got the win.

Center fielder Troy Stefanski singled up the middle to lead off the inning for his first hit of the year. Third baseman Conor Moriarty tried to utilize the sacrifice bunt but reached on an error, allowing Stefanski to cross the plate. Moriarty later scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-2.

In the top of the seventh, UMass Lowell got one back, but could have gotten more, as they left the bases loaded. CJ Dandeneau threw a perfect two perfect innings with five strikeouts to get the save.

Game Two

UConn completed the sweep in the afternoon, taking a 7-1 win over the River Hawks.

Conor Moriarty had himself a banner day at the plate. The freshman third baseman hit 3-for-4 with a double and his first career home run. He added three RBI as well.

Right fielder Isaac Feldstein (2-for-4) knocked in three runs as well while catcher Zac Susi (2-for-4) had a multi-hit outing as well.

Starting pitcher Mason Feole made his UConn debut, throwing six strong innings. He allowed one run on three hits, striking out three while walking seven. He also hit two batters.

Moriarty drove in UConn’s first run in the second inning for his second career RBI. He singled home designated hitter Tyler Gnesda (0-for-2), who was hit by a pitch.

In the UConn half of the third, Feldstein hit a deep two-run home run to left to make it 3-0 in favor of the Huskies.

UConn added one more run in the fifth, off the bat of shortstop Anthony Prato. He flew out to center, but outfielder Keith Krueger tagged up from third and crossed the plate safely.

Feole got off to a hot start, a runner didn’t reach third base until the sixth inning. Ben Prada, that runner, scored on a Steve Passatempo single for the River Hawks’ only run of the day.

Moriarty hit a two-run home run to put even more distance between the Huskies and River Hawks.

Jake Wallace, who made his UConn debut, and Ronnie Rossomando combined for three no-hit innings to close out the win.

UConn (3-0) and UMass Lowell (0-3) will finish their series on Sunday morning. The first pitch will take place at 11 a.m. from UConn’s probable starter Doug Domnarksi.