In a game that was assembled at the very last minute due to an unlikely confluence of events, No. 13 UConn baseball wasn’t flustered by the change of opponent, beating Rhode Island 9-0.
The Huskies were originally due to face Yale in a weekday matchup, but their Ivy League opponents pulled out of the game at the last minute, citing a lack of pitching depth for the occasion.
UConn would have gone without an opponent at Dunkin’ Park, but the Rams’ Tuesday opponents, No. 12 Boston College, also canceled after most of their team lost their checked bags on a flight from North Carolina to Boston.
The Huskies’ bats were up to the task against the impromptu opponent, scoring seven runs in the first three innings to leap out to an early lead, including a four-run first.
In his first start since March 3 against Georgetown, T.C. Simmons reached with a walk and scored after two straight doubles from Dominic Freeberger and Jake Studley. Luke Broadhurst followed with a walk, and Bryan Padilla completed the inning with a two-RBI single after Maxxid Dalena moved the runners into scoring position with a productive out.
UConn followed it up with a two-run second inning, highlighted by a leadoff double from Korey Morton. He scored on a David Smith groundout and two more hits from Freeberger and Studley to make it 6-0 after some sloppy fielding. The Huskies would add one more in the third off a Morton RBI single, and tacked on two additional runs in the bottom of the eighth with a ground-rule double into the right field bullpen by Broadhurst.
UConn’s pitching staff was steady, pitching a shutout and allowing just two total hits on the night. Garrett Coe started the game and threw three one-hit innings, followed by Michael Quigley and Thomas Ellisen, who combined to throw three one-hit innings.
Brady Afthim closed the game for the Huskies, sitting down three Rams in a row en route to the win.
UConn will now get two days off before its weekend series, traveling to Pennsylvania to take on Villanova in a three-game conference series. The opener starts at 3 p.m. on Friday. Each game this weekend will be broadcast on FloSports.