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UConn baseball defeats UMass in series opener

The Huskies came out on top in frigid conditions at Elliot Ballpark.

UConn’s Pat Winkel #43 went 3-for-5 with two RBIs in the win.
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn baseball grabbed the lead in their weekend series against UMass in commanding fashion on Friday afternoon, beating UMass 9-2 and moving to 11-12 on the year ahead of their doubleheader on Saturday.

It started as a low-scoring contest on a frigid afternoon in Storrs as UConn held onto a 3-0 lead until it scored three runs in each of the sixth and seventh innings to blow the game open.

The cold temperatures played into UConn starter Ben Casparius’ hands as he put together one of his most complete performances yet in a UConn uniform. The junior threw 7.0 scoreless innings and allowed just two hits and two walks, striking out eight.

Patrick Winkel kicked the scoring off in the bottom of the first, an RBI double that scored Kyler Fedko. The UConn catcher went 3-for-5 on the day and contributed on the defensive end, throwing out a would-be base stealer.

Chris Brown scored Chris Winkel in the second with an RBI groundout, and Christian Fedko got in on the RBI fun, driving in Patrick Winkel with an RBI single in the third.

Brown kicked off the sixth inning with a triple to deep center field, and Erik Stock drove him home with a sacrifice fly. Patrick Winkel followed it up with an RBI single, and Christian Fedko drove him home with a double.

In the seventh inning, Kyler Fedko and Reggie Crawford were not to be left out, with a pair of RBI singles to push the score to 9-0.

After Ben Casparius left the game, a few of UConn’s young arms got the chance to make an appearance. Freshman Brendan O’Donnell pitched the eighth inning, allowing the Minutemen’s only two runs on the night. Bobby McBride made his long-awaited debut in a UConn uniform, firing a hitless ninth inning to close out the game.

UConn will look to finish off UMass in a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 12 p.m.