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UConn rallies past Bryant, 9-8, Tuesday

David Silverman Photography
David Silverman Photography

STORRS, Conn. – A late-game rally pushed the University of Connecticut past the Bryant University baseball team, 9-8, on Tuesday afternoon.

The Bulldogs led 8-3 heading into the seventh inning but the Huskies, ranking No. 1 in New England, scored three runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth to take the lead.

UConn's rally spoiled a strong start by Luke Garofalo as the righty allowed three runs on five hits and struck out a career-high six over 5.0 innings.

Bryant posted 14 hits in the contest, with Jake Gustin finishing with four. Tommy DiTullio and Brian Nicolas both collected a pair of hits, with Nicolas hitting his second home run of the year.   

Game Information
UConn 9, Bryant 8
Records: Bryant (10-9-1), UConn (14-12)
Location: Elliot Ballpark (Storrs, Conn.)
W|L|S: Justin Willis (2-0) | Jackson Harrigan (0-1) | Reggie Crawford Jr.

Key Moment

  • Pat Winkel fouled off several 2-2 pitches before hitting a double to right center to score the go-ahead run in the eighth.        

How it Happened

  • UConn jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first as Reggie Crawford Jr. hit a two-run home run.
  • Bryant responded by scoring three in the top of the second. DiTullio got the Bulldogs on the board with an RBI single up the middle and Ciliento tied the game with a single through the right side. Gustin followed with an RBI double into the right field corner to make it 3-2.
  • Nicolas increased Bryant's lead with one swing of the bat in the third as he lifted a two-run home run over the wall in right center to make it 5-2.
  • Bryant added a run in the fifth on a sac fly. Three-straight singles loaded the bases and Gustin scored DiTullio with a fly ball to center.
  • UConn attempted to erase the deficit in the bottom of the fifth as Kyler Fedko tripled home a run with one out. Garofalo buckled down though, striking out Crawford on a check swing before getting a ground out.
  • The Bulldogs extended their lead with a pair of two-out runs in the seventh. Gustin was hit with two outs and McGill drove him home with as he laced a 1-2 pitch into right center for a double. Damaurys Rodriguez followed with an RBI single up the middle to make it 8-3.     
  • The Huskies rallied in the bottom of the seventh. After back-to-back singles opened the inning, Kyler Fedko brought home both with a triple to right center. Then scored on a ground out to make it 8-6. Jackson Harrigan came on to get a ground out and end the inning.
  • UConn was able to take lead with a two-out rally in the eighth. A HBP gave UConn a runner with two outs and two-straight singles scored the first run. A wild pitch tied the game and a double to right center gave the Huskies a 9-8 lead.

Stats

  • Garofalo allowed three runs on five hits over 5.0 innings. He didn't walk a batter and struck out six.
  • John MacDonald tossed a scoreless sixth.
  • Ciliento went 1-for-3 and reached base four times with two HBPs and a walk.
  • Gustin finished 4-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
  • McGill doubled and drove in a run.
  • Rodriguez had an RBI.
  • Smith picked up a double.
  • DiTullio had a pair of hits, an RBI and three runs scored.
  • Nicolas had two hits, including a two-run home run.

Game Notes

  • Nicolas hit his second career home run. Both have come this season.
  • McGill drove in his team-leading 27th run of the year.
  • McGill extended his on-base streak to 20 games. He's reached in every game this year.
  • Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to 10 games.   
  • Garofalo posted a career-high six strikeouts.

Up Next

Bryant wraps up its season series with URI on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m. in Kingston, R.I.