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UConn advances to Big East Tournament final after 10-1 win over Georgetown

Facing elimination, the Huskies’ bats came alive to keep their tournament run going.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn baseball scored five in the third and three in the fourth to take a commanding lead over Georgetown on its way to a 10-1 win to move on to the Big East Tournament final.

No. 1 UConn (42-14) will play No. 2 Xavier on Saturday at 2 p.m. If the Huskies win the first contest, the two teams will play immediately after in a winner-take-all game.

The top five hitters in the UConn lineup each had multiple hits, while Jim Penders’ squad took advantage of three Hoya errors, seven walks, and three hit-by-pitches to grab free bases.

Georgetown grabbed a run in the top of the first off of Andrew Sears, as Ubaldo Lopez drilled a home run to right field to set the Hoyas’ program record for big flies. But that would be all for the Hoyas.

Sears limited the damage, facing the minimum in the second and working around a hit-by-pitch in the third.

The Husky offense woke up in its half of the third. David Smith reached on a single and Paul Tammaro worked a walk, with the pair combining for a double steal on the first pitch of Dominic Freeberger’s at-bat. The Big East player of the year drilled a hard single into center field, forcing Tammaro to stop at third base. Ben Huber then came to the plate and cleared the fence in right field to put UConn up 4-1, but the rally wasn’t over.

Jake Studley used his speed to get a bunt single, then on a back pick, the ball rolled out of Christian Ficca’s glove at first base and into the dugout, which gave the outfielder third base. Luke Broadhurst looked like he did a job and earned a sacrifice fly to left field, but Cody Bowker dropped the ball and the graduate student ended up on second with Studley across the plate for a 5-1 advantage.

The onslaught continued in the fourth, as the Huskies loaded the bases with nobody out and Freebeger delivered his second hit to bring home one run, while Huber got one through the right side to plate two more and make it 8-1 and get his fourth and fifth RBIs of the day.

After Stephen Quigley was unable to get deep on Thursday and with the Huskies facing 18 innings of baseball on Saturday to win a third straight Big East Tournament championship, it was crucial for Sears to get deep. He was able to put the first inning behind him and give his team eight innings of work, surrendering five hits and just one run, with eight strikeouts. It was a career-high in innings for Sears.

The Huskies’ offense went quiet in the middle for a few innings but added two more in the eighth to put the game out of reach.