UConn baseball got revenge for its NCAA Tournament-opening game loss by taking the Nebraska Cornhuskers to the woodshed, 16-1.
Here’s how it went down:
UConn needed a big performance from its starting pitcher and Colby Dunlop delivered. The sophomore ate up 8.0 innings while holding Nebraska to just one run all afternoon. He struck out six batters while walking just one.
By recording 24 of 27 outs, Dunlop helped save the Huskies’ bullpen for the regional final against Oklahoma State. Since UConn needs to beat the ‘Pokes twice in the final to advance, the more arms Jim Penders has at his disposal, the better.
While Dunlop has struggled at times this season, he’s been a force for the Huskies in the postseason, allowing just one run in 13.1 innings of work.
UConn’s offense continued to light up opposing pitching, racking up a season-high 22 hits and 16 runs on the day. Through three games, the Huskies offensive numbers are absurd:
- 58 hits in 27 innings
- .464 team batting average
- + 23 run differential in the last two games
UConn jumped on Nebraska’s starter early, scoring a run in each of the first two innings. Holding a 5-1 lead entering the top of the eight, the Huskies exploded with four runs to take full command of the game. In the ninth, UConn piled it on with seven runs to increase the lead to 16-1.
In last season’s NCAA Tournament in Conway, South Carolina, UConn took a similar route to the Regional Final. The Huskies lost their first game but bounced back with two straight wins. However, because they were in the losers’ bracket, UConn played those games in the middle of the day when the sun and heat were at its worst. By the final game against Washington, the Huskies ran out of gas.
This year, UConn has already played three games in as many days out in the sun whereas Oklahoma State has only played a pair of games, both at night. The Huskies need to win two games to advance to a Super Regional but will they have enough left in the tank?
- 11 different Huskies got a hit while 10 recorded a RBI.
- 15 runs is UConn’s largest margin of victory since 2016 when the Huskies crunched William & Mary 18-1.
- Michael Woodworth recorded UConn’s first five-hit game of the season.
- UConn has put a runner on base in all but one inning in the NCAA Tournament.
If Nebraska doesn't score in the bottom of the 9th this will somehow be the second time in three games that UConn has eliminated Nebraska from the NCAA tournament with 15-run wins.— UConn is good (@NoEscalators) June 2, 2019
UConn will need a quick turnaround as they face top seed Oklahoma State at 6:06 p.m.