Baseball: UConn drops first three games of regular season
It was not the opening weekend the UConn baseball team had dreamed about.
Struggling to find their offense all weekend long, the Huskies dropped all three of their contests in the Snowbird Classic to Ohio State, Indiana State and Auburn.
It wasn't an awful start, however, as UConn jumped right out of the gate against Ohio State on Friday, scoring two runs in the first inning. Max McDowell started the scoring for the Huskies by hitting a RBI single that scored Bryan Daniello. UConn added another run when sophomore Bobby Melley belted his first career homerun to lengthen the lead to 2-0.
Jordan Tabakman started the season opener on the mound for the Huskies. Tabakman had two strong innings until the Buckeyes finally got to him. A grand slam by Jacob Bosiokovic put Ohio State ahead 4-2 in the third inning, and they never looked back.
The Buckeyes tacked on two more runs against Tabakman before head coach Jim Penders pulled his starter in favor of freshman Andrew Zapata. In his collegiate debut, the freshman went 1.1 innings without giving up an earned run. The Huskies would go on to give up two more runs, without scoring any of their own, to drop the season opener 8-2. Under Penders, UConn is 2-9 in season openers.
UConn's offense was only able to generate an abysmal two hits on Saturday against Indiana State, falling to the Sycamores 3-0.
The Sycamores opened up the scoring in the top of the second inning, scoring one run on UConn pitcher Anthony Marzi. Marzi was able to calm down after the early run, getting to fifth inning before being relieved by freshman Anthony Kay. In his debut, Kay went three innings and allowed just one run in relief.
UConn's pitching and defense were able to hold strong until the seventh inning when Indiana State doubled their lead as Mike Fitzgerald brought in Jacon Hayes with a single. The Sycamores added another run in the top of the ninth and the Huskies were unable to form a comeback in the bottom half of the inning.
Senior Brian Ward got the nod on the mound for the Huskies against Auburn, throwing 3.2 innings and allowing two earned runs on seven hits.
UConn's offense struggled for the third straight game, this time against freshman Keegan Thompson. Thompson's first collegiate start saw him throw 5.2 innings, only allowing one run on two hits along with nine strikeouts.
Auburn took advantage of a UConn error by scoring four runs in the third inning, setting the tone for the game. UConn was able to end a 21-inning scoreless drought in the fifth inning, when Griffin Garabedian hit an infield single, which scored Bryan Daniello from third and cut the Auburn lead to 4-1. The Huskies added two more runs, while allowing three more and fell in the final game 7-3.
UConn (0-3) returns to the diamond next weekend on Feb. 21, when they will travel to Conway, S.C. to participate in the Caravelle Resort's Baseball at the Beach Tournament.
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