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No. 9 UConn baseball completes sweep of Seton Hall

The Huskies impressed a record crowd of 1,508 on Sunday afternoon.

UConn’s Bryan Padilla #1 is congratulated by head coach Jim Penders #16 after his home run in the 2nd inning.
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

No. 9 UConn baseball completed the sweep of Seton Hall in thrilling fashion on Sunday afternoon, winning the final game of the series 15-9 in front of a record crowd of 1,508 at Elliot Ballpark.

Seton Hall struck for six runs in the top of the fourth to take a 6-4 lead, but the Huskies scored 11 unanswered runs by the end of the seventh to capture the comeback victory, including a matching six-run fourth and four more in the seventh.

David Smith led the team in offense from the top of the order, with a season-high four hits and three runs, while Luke Broadhurst and Bryan Padilla both chipped in with three hits apiece as part of a 19-hit attack. Each of the nine starters grabbed a base knock, while six had at least two.

UConn leaped on top early in the game with four runs in the first inning. Smith led the game off with a double, advanced to third on a throwing error and was driven home by Dominic Freeberger. Bryan Padilla uncorked a two-run homer into the left field bullpen in the second inning, and UConn tacked on one more in the third via an RBI groundout.

Seton Hall took advantage of another so-so performance by starter Ian Cooke, chasing him from the game in the top of the fourth, sending 11 Pirates to the plate for a six-run inning.

Cooke surrendered five runs (three earned) on six hits, with three walks and just one strikeout in 3 23 innings.

Redshirt freshman Thomas Ellisen entered the game in relief and was able to settle it down, tossing 3 13 innings without allowing an earned run. He struck out three and earned the win.

But UConn’s offense was not to be denied, and matched Seton Hall’s fourth inning by sending 10 hitters to the plate itself in the bottom half, scoring six runs on seven hits. Maddix Dalena kicked off the scoring with a two-run home run, Smith and Freeberger followed it up with RBI singles and Jake Studley finished it off with another two-run shot well over the fence in right field.

Broadhurst and Padilla combined with a triple and an RBI single, respectively, to give the Huskies an insurance run in the sixth, but the Huskies would really pour it on in the next inning. Smith and T.C. Simmons hit back-to-back RBI singles in the seventh to extend the UConn lead to 13-6, and Freeberger and Studley made it 15 runs with an RBI ground out and a sac fly, respectively.

UConn ran into some trouble in the ninth inning, as Seton Hall threw everything it had at the Huskies in an attempt to get something from the weekend. Freeberger entered the game to close it out, but Seton Hall’s lineup had his number on the day and scored three runs before left-hander Zach Fogell entered the game and struck out third baseman Zack Sylvester to close the game out.

With the series sweep, UConn (35-11, 11-3 Big East) goes top of the Big East standings outright, with one fewer loss than Xavier. Next up for the Huskies is a midweek game against Hofstra on Wednesday. First pitch on UConn+ is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.