By Ben Jansen
The University of Connecticut opened the brand new Elliot Ballpark with a 2-0 victory over Central Connecticut State University thanks to a dominant pitching performance on Tuesday, March 23.
After reaching on a fielder’s choice in his first at bat, Kyler Fedko manufactured the first run in the new stadium on his own, stealing second base and then scoring from second on an errant pickoff attempt to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
That single run would prove to be all the Huskies needed, as it was the pitching staff who controlled the game for Head Coach Jim Penders against the Blue Devils. Pat Gallagher was given the ball to start the game and was lights-out in what ended up being his best performance as a Husky, going five innings and striking out nine batters, all while allowing only three hits and one walk while recording his first win of the season.
From there, the Huskies turned to Kenny Haus, Andrew Marrero, Randy Polonia and closer Caleb Wurster for one inning each to preserve the shutout and secure the win. The bullpen tacked on four strikeouts, leading to a total of 13 Blue Devils batters set down on strikes.
Erik Stock led the way on offense for the Huskies, collecting two of UConn’s four hits and tacking on an insurance run with the team’s only run batted in of the game. UConn made up for the lack of hits with five walks and three hit batters, but free passes could only take them so far, and it showed that the Huskies left 10 runners on the base.
After 682 days between home games, UConn will have a much shorter turnaround to their next home game, as the Huskies host the University of Rhode Island on Friday afternoon. The three game series will see two games played in Storrs and the series finale played in Kingston on Sunday.