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UConn defeats Northeastern, Yale in midweek games

The Huskies have bounced back from their Saturday hiccup to win three straight.

UConn’s Ben Huber #44 had four hits and three RBIs in Wednesday’s win over Yale.
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn baseball rolled through its midweek schedule again this week, earning wins against regional opponents Northeastern and Yale, moving to 34-8 on the season.

Ahead of two of their more challenging conference series of the season, against Creighton the weekend of May 6 and against Xavier the following weekend, the Huskies need to rack up all the confidence-building wins they can get.

Here’s how this week’s games went down.

Tuesday: UConn 5, Northeastern 2 (10 innings)

It took longer than the nine allotted innings to do it, but the Huskies were able to gut out a 5-2 comeback win at Northeastern on Tuesday afternoon.

The Huskies were down 2-0 in the seventh inning when third baseman Zach Bushling came up clutch with a double to the wall in left field, and Ben Huber drove him home with an RBI single. Christina Fedko in turn drove Huber home to tie the game up at two, and that score would take it to extra innings.

In the 10th inning, the Huskies were able to get some traffic on the basepaths. David Smith started the rally by getting hit by a pitch, and then the Huskies were able to load the bases. UConn went ahead on a hit batter with the bases loaded, and Bushling put the nail in the coffin with a two-RBI single to make it 5-2.

The Huskies’ bullpen supported their offense with several lights-out innings. Freshman Patrick Sullivan provided a pair of hitless innings, and Devin Kirby and Brady Afthim combined for 3 2/3 innings of scoreless ball.

Left-hander Brendan O’Donnell earned the win, as he handled the ninth, and closer Justin Willis relieved him with a 1-2-3 tenth inning to grab the save.

Wednesday: UConn 8, Yale 4

UConn baseball returned home to Elliot Ballpark on Wednesday afternoon and continued the momentum from their big comeback win with an 8-4 victory over Yale.

The Huskies leaped out to an early lead, scoring in each of the opening five innings, and were able to fend off a late Yale comeback to earn their third-straight win.

Erik Stock and Ben Huber opened the scoring with a double and an RBI single respectively in the first inning. Huber paced the Huskies in offense in the game, going 4-for-5 with three doubles and three RBI. Freshman catcher Matt Garbowski returned to the lineup as the designated hitter after three weeks on the bench injured and delivered offensively, going 2-for-3 with an RBI double.

The Huskies scored six runs in the first five innings and tacked on two more in the eighth inning as insurance.

Ian Cooke pitched another gem on the mound, shutting the Bulldogs down with five innings of scoreless ball, moving to 7-0 on the season. The Huskies’ bullpen was shaky after he left, allowing all four runs in the seventh inning or later, but the home team was able to stick it out for the win, as Willis entered the game to earn the final two outs.

What’s Next

UConn baseball’s next series will feature a trip to Indianapolis, on the road at Butler. Game 1 of the series will take place at 4 p.m. on Friday.