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UConn baseball sweeps doubleheader to get by Southeastern Louisiana

The Huskies have two consecutive winning weekends.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn baseball is now 4-2 on the year after their series with the Southeastern Louisiana Lions. The Huskies finished 2-1, grabbing the series win after sweeping Saturday’s doubleheader.

Game 1

The Huskies lost to Southeastern Louisiana 6-2 to open the series at Pat Kenelly Diamond on Friday.

Tim Cate struggled through five innings as the Lions worked counts on him, making the junior throw 110 pitches. He allowed a pair of runs on four hits, walking three and striking out six. He also hit a batter.

Offensively, UConn worked only five hits, all of which came from the top four in the lineup, including two from catcher Zac Susi.

The Lions scored in their half of the first innings courtesy of a two-out double by Mike Taylor, but the Huskies were able to scratch a run across in the third to knot it up.

Left fielder John Toppa and second baseman Michael Woodworth each worked singles before moving up 90 feet on a wild pitch from Josh Green. With second and third and no one out, Taylor Schwaner committed an error at third base off the bat of shortstop Anthony Prato, allowing Toppa to cross the plate.

That was all Green would allow. He allowed back-to-back singles in each of the first and third, but retired 15 of the final 16 batters he faced, giving up only a hit-by-pitch to Toppa in the fifth. He struck out just four, allowing him to go deep into a game in which he was cruising.

The Lions went ahead for good with a run in the fifth on a two-out single by Schwaner and then got two more on a two-RBI single from Daniel Wasinger to make it 4-1.

Wasinger would do the same thing in the eighth to seal the game for Southeastern Louisiana after Susi singled home Toppa, who led off the frame with a walk.

Game 2

Right fielder Isaac Feldstein’s two-run home run in the ninth sent the Huskies over the top against Southeastern Louisiana, 7-6.

UConn had 10 hits, but they came from just five players, as catcher Zac Susi led the charge with three hits and three RBI. Shortstop Anthony Prato, center fielder Troy Stefanski and left fielder John Toppa each had a pair of hits as well.

The Huskies scored two runs in each of the first and second to get off to a hot start.

It was sloppy early, as each team committed two errors in the first inning. Second baseman Michael Woodworth reached on a fielding error by Corey Gaconi on the mound and Prato followed it up with his first hit of the day. Susi came to the plate and knocked home Woodworth and Prato would score a few batters later when Bryce Steckler couldn’t handle Christian Fedko’s drive to left field.

The following frame, Susi came through with a two-out single to plate both Stefanski and Toppa, who would record an RBI in the third on another two-out one-bagger.

The Lions, however, were able to keep pace. In each of the first five innings, they scored a singular run, allowing them to keep pace with tie the game up in the fifth, roughing up Mason Feole to five runs, four of which were earned, on seven hits in four-plus innings.

Jeff Kersten, CJ Dandeneau and PJ Poulin each came out of the bullpen for UConn and Kersten allowed five hits, but put out a two-on and nobody down fire allowing just one run.

He allowed another in the seventh to allow the Lions to take the lead, and Dandeneau and Poulin combined to throw 2 2/3 perfect innings to keep the Huskies’ offense within striking distance.

It took them until the ninth, but Feldstein’s home run proved to be the difference.

Game 3

Immediately after the conclusion of the first game on Saturday, UConn and Southeastern Louisiana took the field again to finish up their three-game set and the Huskies won the game, taking the series with it by a 6-4 score.

Shortstop Anthony Prato registered three hits, while center fielder Troy Stefanski had another two-hit game.

Chase Gardner allowed three runs on four hits in five-plus innings of work and with two perfect innings, PJ Poulin earned his second save of the day.

The visitors got the scoring going in the second inning with a three-spot on the scoreboard thanks to first baseman Chris Winkel. The Lions were sloppy in the field all weekend and an error put an extra runner on base for the sophomore, whose three-run home run gave the Huskies an early advantage.

However, Southeastern Louisiana grabbed two runs back in their half of the third on back-to-back RBI singles by Brennan Greaud and Cody Grosse.

The 3-2 scoreline would hold until the fifth, when Stefanski led off the frame with a home run before Prato scored on a Susi single, aided by a fielding error by Bryce Steckler in left field.

The Lions would get a run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly but that was as close as they would get, as Prato plated an insurance run with a triple in the ninth.

UConn (4-2) has a three-game series with North Florida next weekend, starting at 6 p.m.