I made the trip to Storrs Connecticut on Sunday afternoon for the final game of the UConn-Villanova series. One of the stories throughout the beginning of the season has been the strong start by the Huskies who entered the game with a 21-7 record while being 6-2 in Big East play. Villanova entered the game with a 18-11 record while being 2-7 in Big East play. UConn sent Matt Barnes to the mound while Villanova countered with Kyle McMyne.
The game would remain scoreless until the bottom of the second inning when the Huskies Mike Olt lead off with a double to the right center field gap and would come around on a Joe Pavone double two batters later to give the Huskies the 1-0 lead. Pavone would then come around on a Billy Ferriter single to take the 2-0 lead after two innings. They would extend the lead in the third inning with a Mike Nemeth homer over the right center field wall to give the Huskies the 3-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Kevin Vance hit a towering homer over the left field fence which cleared the trees that line the outfield to give the Huskies the 4-0 lead. The homer was hit into a stiff breeze and was just crushed.
The Huskies would continue to break through in the fifth when Pierre LePage led off the inning with a double to right center field. Nick Ahmed would follow with a walk to put runners on first and second. Both players would move up a base on a double steal when George Springer was up to put runners on second and third with no outs. Both players would score an out later when Kyle McMyne would uncork a wild pitch which was thrown away by the catcher allowing Ahmed to score from second base to extend the UConn lead to 6-0.
Villanova would eventually get to Matt Barnes in the top of the sixth with a one out single by Dain Hall who was followed by a Chris Johnson homer down the right field line to cut the UConn deficit down to 6-2. UConn would push across two runs in the seventh on an RBI single by Kevin Vance and on an error by David Koczirka to set up the final score of 8-2.
UConn starter Matt Barnes was fantastic throughout the game as he kept the Wildcats off balance with a ton of ground ball outs. He ended up pitching eight innings, allowing five hits, two walks, while striking out seven batters. Barnes record is now 6-0 on the year with a 2.13 ERA. Villanova starter Kyle McMyne got the loss after lasting only 4.2 innings allowing eight hits, one walk, and six runs. His record drops to 4-4 on the year.