On an unseasonably warm day in central Connecticut, UConn baseball was able to come back and beat a solid Hartford squad 5-2 in their first midweek game of the season.
The comeback win was punctuated by a three-run sixth inning: after center fielder Chris Winkel and designated hitter Kevin Ferrer both were able to single through the left side, catcher Paul Gozzo saw a pitch he liked and crushed it to left center for his second home run of the year.
Gozzo had a hand in starting the original two-run rally in the fourth inning with a two-out RBI single, bouncing back from a hard slump that he was in at the beginning of the season
“Paulie was able to bounce back after a really tough at-bat...he’s a veteran enough to know he would get another opportunity, and he got that two-out RBI and the big three-run homer,” Penders said. “He’s been a really good captain, he’s a really good teammate [and] I’m very proud of him.”
Redshirt sophomore Angus Mayock made the first start of his career, allowing just a single hit through two innings and zero earned runs. The only runs that Hartford were able to scratch across the plate came in the second inning as a result of shortstop Zach Bushling overthrowing first on a routine grounder, allowing the runners on second and third to score.
After that it was smooth sailing, however, as the youngsters Will Lucas and Andrew Marrero combined to pitch five innings of scoreless ball, striking out five while allowing just two walks and a hit.
Despite being on their longest winning streak (five games) since 2017, the Huskies still have quite a ways to go on the defensive side of the ball, as their new-look infield struggled with five errors, their fifth game of the year with more than one.
“If I’m an organizer for lacrosse youth league anywhere in America, I would just try to get a copy of that [game] and use it as the perfect advertisement for why not to play baseball, because that really wasn’t baseball,” Penders said.
UConn will have a chance to extend their win streak, as well as work on that pesky infield defense, this weekend in the Spider Invitational against Monmouth, Harvard and Richmond.