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UConn baseball wins two over Bucknell

The Huskies won both games rather comfortably over the weekend in a series that replaced the Butler series.

UConn’s Pat Winkel #43 tags out Bucknell’s Eunsang Yu on a play at the plate in Sunday’s 13-6 win for the Huskies.
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn baseball wasn’t expecting to face Bucknell this weekend in a two-game series, but they took it in stride with a workmanlike two-game sweep.

The Huskies dominated game one on Saturday, 9-1, and then came out on top in a shootout on Sunday, 13-6. They scheduled this series in the 11th hour after conference opponent Butler backed out due to COVID concerns.

UConn moves to 20-14 on the year. Here’s how it went down:

Game one

UConn took game one via the long ball, sending four homers out of Elliot Ballpark as the lineup racked up nine runs. Patrick Winkel snapped a five-game hitless streak with a pair of home runs, his second multi-homer game of the season.

Right fielder Ben Maycock capped off a four-run second inning with a two-run home run in his tenth start of the year, and freshman Chris Brown extended his hit streak to eight games with an RBI single.

Chris Winkel hit a long ball of his own in the fourth to push the Huskies’ lead to 7-0, and Kevin Ferrer added on some insurance of his own with an RBI double. Patrick Winkel’s second home run of the day pushed the lead to 9-0 in the fourth, neatly putting the Bison to bed.

Starter Ben Casparius pitched seven full innings for the second time this season, allowing two hits (none in the opening six innings) and just two walks while striking out 14. He passed the ball on to a combination of UConn relievers: Colby Dunlop, Brendan O’Donnell, Bobby McBride, and Garrett Coe combined for two hitless innings to close out the game.

Game two

UConn rallied from three runs down in the third inning to defeat Bucknell 13-6 and complete sweep.

UConn starting hurler Austin Peterson got off to a rocky start. The Purdue transfer failed to get out of the third inning but his defense didn’t exactly back him up, as a throwing error on a fielder’s choice led to two of the four runs he gave up that inning.

UConn would bounce right back in the next frame with an RBI single from Christian Fedko and an RBI double from Reggie Crawford. Erik Stock reached base with a double to the gap, then reached home via a wild pitch and a passed ball to make it 5-4 Huskies, and Kyler Fedko stretched their lead to 6-4 in the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly.

Bucknell got one back in the fifth, and the visitors were threatening to add more with the tying run on second, but a snappy relay play from Erik Stock to Chris Brown got the runner out at home plate and prevented the Bison from putting up a crooked number.

UConn put together a big sixth inning to put the game — and the series — to bed. Brown got it started with an RBI triple, one of his three hits on the day. Zach Bushling slapped a single through the right side to score Bushling, and the Huskies were off to the races, batting around to score six runs in the inning.

Kenny Haus came in to relieve Peterson and picked up the win in 2.0 innings of relief, his second of the year. Andrew Marrero, Randy Polonia, and Reggie Crawford all appeared in an inning of scoreless relief each.

UConn will head on the road again this weekend, in a four-game conference series against St. John’s. Game one will take place at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 7. All four games will be aired on ESPN3.

Saturday’s gallery

Sunday’s gallery