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UConn baseball’s new faces shine in 7-3 win over UMass

The Huskies put on a good show for the fans in their home opener

UConn’s Luke Broadhurst watches his home run in 3rd inning vs UMass.
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn baseball fans have plenty of new faces for fans to get used to entering the 2023 season, and the newbies provided the best possible introduction to the Hook C faithful at Elliot Ballpark on Monday afternoon, providing much of the offensive firepower behind the 7-3 win over UMass.

New third baseman Dominic Freeberger went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI, and new second baseman Ryan Daniels got on base three times from the bottom of the order, coming around to score three runs on two hits.

UConn jumped on its rivals up the road in the first inning, making it 1-0 off of a Ben Huber RBI double, but the Huskies left the bases loaded to end the inning.

Luke Broadhurst might not technically count as a new face, redshirting his freshman season at UConn before transferring to ECSU, where he won a national championship and was a Division III All-American before returning to Storrs, but his impact on the offense was felt just as much on Wednesday. The transfer contributed with a solo home run in the third inning to double the Huskies’ lead to 2-0. Broadhurst is hitting .288 on the year, with four doubles and four home runs, for a share of the team lead.

Not to be outdone by the newcomers, David Smith went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. The captain extended the Huskies’ lead to 3-0 in the fourth inning with an RBI single, setting the stage for Freeberger to drive in a pair with a base hit of his own.

UMass started to fight back in the middle innings, scoring three runs from the fifth to the sixth, but reliever Jude Abbadessa was able to get out of the sixth inning with a fly-out after surrendering a pair.

UConn’s defense remained crisp in the contest despite one error. After the Minutemen scored in the fifth and sixth, Huber took the wind out of their sails in the seventh inning with a diving grab to save a double or worse, then stepping on first to complete the double play.

Garrett Coe got the start and the win, throwing four shutout innings and allowing just a pair of hits, drawing plenty of weak contact with his tricky fastball and elongated delivery. After some shaky middle innings, UConn’s bullpen came together to shut down UMass from the seventh onward. Will Nowak, Zach Fogell and Devin Kirby combined to throw three scoreless, one-hit innings to close the game out.

UConn baseball will be back in action on Friday at 3 p.m. to kick off a three-game series against Rutgers.