After getting snowed out on Friday, UConn baseball dropped first of three against the UCF Knights in a cold 11-inning, four-hour, 47-minute marathon, 10-8.
The Huskies had a four-run cushion heading into the final inning but could not hold on. After three scoreless innings, pitcher Jacob Wallace ran into trouble in the ninth, giving up two runs while loading the bases. Closer PJ Poulin came in with two outs to try and shut the door but lost the lead after a hit batter and wild pitch.
In the 11th inning, UCF put runners on second and third with no outs. The Huskies brought the infield in but second baseman Michael Woodworth bobbled a chopper right at him, allowing a run to score. The Knights added an insurance run off a hit to right to push their lead to 10-8.
However, UConn had a chance to tie the game in the final frame. They had runners on second and third with just one out, but designated hitter Zac Susi and right fielder Isaac Feldstein struck out back-to-back to end the game.
Mason Feole got the start in the opener for the Huskies with ace Tim Cate out with forearm tightness. The sophomore struggled with control but limited the damage, holding 11 baserunners to just two runs, one earned, in five innings of work.
The cold weather seemed to affect both teams defensively as they combined for eight errors. UConn jumped on UCF’s mistakes, scoring three unearned runs on the day. Neither team plated a run off a hit until UConn shortstop Anthony Prato stroked an RBI double into right field in the fifth inning.
Prato, Woodworth and catcher Thad Phillips combined nine of the Huskies’ 12 hits.
Initially, Saturday was planned as a double-header but since Game 1 did not end until nearly 5 p.m. and J.O. Christian Field lacks lights, the final two games of the series were pushed to Sunday. With UCF needing to travel home, Game 2 will be a seven-inning contest beginning at 8:30 a.m. while Game 3 will be a full nine innings immediately after.