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UConn Baseball Dominates UMass

The Huskies made a late surge to pick up the win.

UConn’s Chris Winkel went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two doubles in the win.
Ian Bethune for The UConn Blog

UConn Baseball won its second straight game on Tuesday as the Huskies dispatched UMass, 11-3 at J.O. Christian Field. UConn rode a seven-run seventh to a blowout win.

“I don’t remember the last time we did that,” head coach Jim Penders said. “We were able to breathe and have a little more fun today.”

First baseman Chris Winkel led the way offensively, hitting 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI.

“We got a good scouting report on the pitchers we faced, so I was relying on that a little bit,” Winkel said. He was one of eight Huskies with extra-base hits on the day.

Starting pitcher PJ Poulin gave the Huskies a career-high five innings, allowing one run on three hits. His five strikeouts was also a career-high.

“He was very good today,” Penders said. “When trusts his stuff, he can be a very effective pitcher.”

UMass opened the scoring in the second after Cooper Mrowka led off with a walk. He went station to station before Matt Bare brought him in with a single.

That would be the only hiccup for Poulin. He allowed three more runners to reach over his final three innings of work, working around a lead-off double in the fourth, lead-off error by Yahn in the fifth and a two-out walk.

As for UConn, they tied the game up in the bottom half of the second when Winkel singled home left fielder John Toppa, who had led off the frame with a single of his own.

In the third, the Huskies took the lead with a pair of runs to make it 3-1. Center fielder Troy Stefanski singled home shortstop Anthony Prato and was brought home by right fielder Isaac Feldstein.

“It was huge to have Winkel hit a ball to the opposite field there to tie the game up,” Penders said.

The Huskies added an insurance run in the fifth when Yahn led off with a double and came around on a productive out from Feldstein.

In the seventh inning, the Huskies put the game away with seven runs on eight hits, five of which came in a row.

Winkel drove in the first runs on a rocket of a RBI double that deflected off of the diving Mrowka at first base. Two runs scored and another quickly followed off the bat of third baseman Kenny Bergmann.

Shortstop Anthony Prato earned two RBI in the following at-bat when he increased his hitting streak to 16 games with a single to left before Yahn and Susi had back-to-back RBI singles to make it 11-1.

“Winkel broke it open,” Penders said. “I thought he was the key offensively.”

UMass got two in the eighth but could not close in any further.

UConn (21-14) will head to Orlando for a weekend series with UCF beginning on Friday. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m.