UConn surges late, eliminates FAMU, 9-6 in Gainesville Regional

FAMU Baseball falls to UConn 8-6 in an elimination game at the Gainesville Regional
FAMU Baseball falls to UConn 8-6 in an elimination game at the Gainesville Regional(Ryan Kelly | WCTV Sports)
Published: Jun. 3, 2023 at 2:54 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCTV) - A quartet of home runs wasn’t enough to give the Florida A&M Rattlers their first ever NCAA Tournament win as UConn used a three run eighth to eek past FAMU 9-6 and eliminate the Rattlers from the Gainesville Regional.

The Rattlers (29-30) jumped to an early 1-0 lead in the first after Jared Weber blasted a ball to deep left, just feet away from exiting Condron Ballpark. The Huskies (51-16) answered with a run of their own in the top of the third off an RBI single from Jake Studley to tie the game at 1-1.

The deadlock was short lived however as in the bottom of the third, catcher Ty Hanchey got ahold of a ball, sending it into the home bullpen for another solo shot and 2-1 lead. From there the visitors would battle back with a four hit, three run top of the fourth to go up 4-2.

Bottom of the fourth it was Janmikell Bastardo’s turn to leave the yard as the outfielder cranked yet another solo homer, cutting the FAMU deficit to just 4-3. UConn added another in the fifth to bush their lead back to two, 5-3.

Bottom five the Rattlers struck back, scoring off a Sebastian Greico fielder’s choice and a failed pickoff attempt at second to tie the game 5-5.

The score remained deadlocked until the top of the eighth when the Huskies scored on a sacrifice bunt from Dominic Freeberger and then a two run shot off the bat of Ben Huber to put the visitors back ahead 8-5.

FAMU answered with another homer in the bottom of the frame off the bat of DH Joseph Pierini to cut the score to 8-6.

A sacrifice RBI from Matt Garbowski in the top of the ninth all the insurance Connecticut would need as the Rattlers were unable to score in the final frame.

Rattlers starter Hunter Viets was given the ball to start. The FAMU Ace surrendered five runs on 11 hits in 4.2 innings of work, walking three and striking out three. Reliever Zach Morea is credited with the loss surrendering three runs on two hits in 3.1 IP.

The Huskies advance in the losers bracket to face the loser of Saturday night’s contest between Texas Tech and no. 2 Florida. The Rattlers finish their third ever NCAA Tournament season one game under .500.

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