By Ethan Basch
After recording their first win at the new Elliot Ballpark on Tuesday, the UConn Huskies faced the University of Rhode Island Rams in hopes to stay undefeated at home — and they did just that. The Huskies defeated the Rams by a score of 9-6 on Friday afternoon.
It took a huge effort by the bats of UConn as coach Jim Penders noted that his pitchers were “human” and “not [themselves]” that day.
The Huskies turned to ace Ben Casparius, who worked around a first inning leadoff single and then proceeded to retire the next six Rams in order. In the bottom of the second, the Huskies were able to score two runs off of three consecutive doubles by Christian Fedko, Kevin Ferrer and Erik Stock.
After a quiet third inning, the Rams worked the counts and were able to score four runs off of Casparius with the help of two walks and a big three-run home run by Rhode Island’s Xavier Vargas. The Rams were also able to add a run in the fifth by stringing together a single, a walk and another single. After that, it was all Huskies.
With the Huskies trailing 5-2, Kyler Fedko led off the bottom of the fifth with the first UConn home run in Elliot Ballpark — a shot over the bullpen in left field. As Kenny Haus entered, the Rams’ bats went quiet as he pitched a scoreless two and a third innings while picking up two strikeouts.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Huskies were able to load the bases off an error, a walk and an intentional walk that brought Reggie Crawford to the plate. With a 1-1 count, Crawford lined a single through the shortstop hole to tie the game up at 5-5.
Coach Penders noted that he was “really proud of Crawford for taking a single through the left side and not trying to do too much.”
The Huskies tacked on another run in the seventh after a sloppy play by the Rams — a wild pitch and an error which allowed Stock to score. With only a one run lead, the Huskies were looking to add some insurance, and they did just that.
Kyler Fedko led off the inning with his second home run of the afternoon in what Coach Penders called “an awesome, awesome at bat,” adding he didn’t recall if he had “seen an at bat that good.” This was the first of two home runs in the inning for Connecticut as defensive replacement and captain Chris Winkel hit a two-run homer over the fence in right center field.
After entering the eighth inning and getting a one-pitch double play, Caleb Wurster closed down the game despite giving up a run in the ninth. This gave the Huskies a 9-6 win as they took game one of this three game series.
Overall, it was a total combined effort from all of the Husky hitters with seven different Huskies recording hits and four of them having multi-hit games