SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The University of Connecticut used five big innings to cruise past the Bryant University baseball team, 18-5, on Wednesday afternoon at Conaty Park.
The Huskies (24-13) used a five-run fourth inning to break open a close game and went on to post three more big innings to defeat the Bulldogs (10-16). Wednesday marked the most runs Bryant has given up since it allowed 16 against Marshall on Feb. 18, 2012. It is also the widest margin of defeat since that game (16-2).
UConn took advantage of nine walks, two balks and five Bryant errors on the afternoon. An error to open the second led to three unearned runs as the Huskies took their first lead of the game. Eric Yavarone opened the scoring with a single to right field and Jack Sundberg plated a pair with an infield single up the middle.
Bryant cut the deficit to a single run with two in the bottom of the third. Junior Robby Rinn (Warwick, R.I.) doubled to left center and came around to score as senior John Mullen (Walpole, Mass.) followed with a double to right center. Mullen eventually went to third on an errant pickoff throw and scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-2.
That was as close as the Black and Gold would get, however, as UConn scored five in the fourth, three in the fifth, three in the sixth and four in the ninth. Sundberg added an RBI single, a fielding error plated a second, a balk scored the third and an interference called resulted in a fourth run to score. Max McDowell capped the five-run inning with a single off the glove of Mullen to make the score 8-2.
The Bulldogs were able to plate three runs to make the game interesting in the sixth. Junior AJ Zarozny (Shrewsbury, Mass.) doubled to open the inning and scored on a single to right from sophomore Matt Albanese (East Haddam, Conn.). Sophomore Cole Fabio (Mahwah, N.J.) singled to put runners on the corners and junior Buck McCarthy (Saugus, Mass.) brought in a run with his third-hit of the day. Senior Jordan Mountford (Guelph, Ont.) added an RBI single to right to complete Bryant's scoring.
Freshman Justin Snyder (Georgetown, Mass.) was the first of seven pitchers on the afternoon for the Bulldogs. He allowed three unearned runs on two hits in 1.2 innings of work. Freshman Ryan Johnson (East Falmouth, Mass.) also pitched effectively out of the bullpen, allowing just one run on three hits over two innings.
McCarthy finished the day 3-for-3, while Rinn and Fabio each added two hits apiece.
The Bulldogs return to the diamond this weekend when they host Mount St. Mary's in a Northeast Conference series.