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UConn baseball survives Coastal Carolina

The Huskies had an 11-1 lead but the Chanticleers made it interesting.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

On a blustery day in Conway, South Carolina, UConn baseball regained their winning form, picking up a 12-10 win over Coastal Carolina in which each team sent 10 men to the plate in an inning.

Three Huskies had multi-hit outings but Chris Winkel led the way with a grand slam.

In the first inning, the Huskies started off strong, with right fielder Isaac Feldstein’s bloop double bringing in a run and putting a pair of runners in scoring position for left fielder John Toppa. The junior extended his hitting streak to four games with a two-RBI single to make it 3-0 Huskies.

Third baseman Christian Fedko and catcher Thad Phillips each reached to load the bases with one down for Winkel, who pulled a down-and-in first-pitch fastball over the right field fence for a 7-0 lead after just half an inning.

Seth Lancaster led off the bottom half with a double and came around to score for the Chanticleers, but in the top of the second, the Huskies increased their lead to 10-1 when Toppa grabbed his third RBI and Phillips’ double brought in two more.

Coastal Carolina continued to score, grabbing three more in the third and one in the fourth to set the scoreline at 11-5 in favor of the visitor headed into the middle innings.

Ronnie Rossomando and Jake Wallace got through 2 2/3 scoreless frames, allowing just two hits before UConn head coach Jim Penders went to go get his closer, PJ Poulin, to start the seventh.

The junior, after Feldstein hit a solo home run in the sixth, had a seven run cushion, but struggled with control, walking the first three batters he faced and after an infield single by Michael Koenig, the Chanticleers were down just 11-6.

That deficit was made smaller by Keaton Weisz, whose line drive off the left field wall netted the hosts two runs and with two on and one out, looked poised to tie the game.

After a strikeout and another walk, Kieton Rivers’ two-run single made it 12-10 after seven.

In the eighth and the ninth, the Chanticleers got the go-ahead run to the plate, but CJ Dandeneau entered the game in the eighth and ended the frame with a strikeout and after loading the bases in the ninth with two down, induced the ground ball for his first career save.

UConn (7-6) plays next on Friday against St. John’s in Queens. First pitch is at 3 p.m.