UConn baseball’s bid to get to the second super regional in school history ultimately ground to a halt on Monday, as they fell to the hosts Oklahoma State, 3-1.
Despite both teams’ strained pitching depth on day four of the tournament, Monday’s game proved to be a pitchers’ duel. UConn starter Kenny Haus pitching a solid outing until running into trouble in the third: 2.1 innings pitched, three hits and three strikeouts.
Oklahoma State’s pitching staff was nearly flawless. Cowboys’ starter Joe Leinhard went 6.0 innings, allowing just one earned run. Then Peyton Battenfield entered to shut the game down, pitching 3.0 inning of scoreless ball.
This deadlock continued for some time. It wasn’t until the fifth inning when the Huskies broke the deadlock the way they usually do: With small ball. Thad Phillips led off the inning with a single, Chris Winkel bunted him over, then Anthony Prato shot an RBI single up the middle to open the scoring.
In the next half-inning, it was Oklahoma State’s turn to score in their signature fashion. A home run from Alix Garcia tied the game up, then a double from Carson McCusker bounced off the left-field wall put the ‘Pokes up 3-1 in the next frame – this would prove to be the final.
UConn’s same three arms that proved heroic on Sunday came back, ready to fight, on Monday night. Wurster went two innings, striking out three and allowing just the home run, while CJ Dandeneau gave up the two-run double.
Jacob Wallace was flawless in what was likely his last appearance with the Huskies, pitching 2.2 innings and striking out five of eight batters faced; he’ll likely hear his name called in the MLB Draft over the next few days.
The Huskies’ offense just couldn’t get much going. They went 5-for-30 on the day, just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
This is the second-straight year the Huskies have gotten eliminated in the regional finals.