Top-seeded UConn baseball never got started on Thursday night, as 2-seed Xavier jumped out in the first inning and rolled to a 10-2 victory over the Huskies on Thursday night.
The Husky lineup notched nine hits and four walks but couldn’t solve Ethan Bosacker, who kept the Huskies in check over 7 2⁄3 innings.
UConn starter Stephen Quigley was not sharp to begin the contest, giving up three runs after two early walks and two singles. Quigley walked a third Xavier batter but then got out of the bases-loaded jam.
Paul Tammaro hit a solo home run in the first, his second straight day going yard, but Xavier got another run back in the second to hold a 4-1 lead.
Quigley was pulled after three-plus innings, departing in favor of Devin Kirby with runners on first and second and the Xavier lineup starting its third time through the order.
Kirby didn’t even finish a batter before head coach Jim Penders saw something he didn’t like and brought the trainer with him for a mound visit. It was enough to remove Kirby and bring on Braden Quinn in a 3-0 count to Matthew Deprey, who was granted first after Quinn’s first pitch missed the plate.
Andrew Walker grounded into a 4-3 double play to bring home a fifth run, while Xavier snagged another on a comebacker that Quinn couldn’t handle.
David Smith made it 6-2 in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI single up the middle, but the deficit wouldn’t stay at four for long, as Jack Housinger drilled a deep two-run home run in the top of the fifth to make it 8-2.
Quinn got through 2 1⁄3 innings with just the Housinger home run on his ledger, while Joe Carrea, who’s pitched just 6 1⁄3 innings this year, came in with one out in the sixth and was able to get eight outs with just one run allowed and Jude Adabessa handled the ninth. None in the trio are often used but combined to save the Huskies’ bullpen depth, which may have taken a hit with Kirby’s unanticipated departure and Quigley’s shortened outing.
UConn (41-14) will face 4-seed Georgetown in an elimination game on Friday at 5 p.m. The Huskies will need to win three straight games to claim their third straight Big East Tournament championship.