Rutgers entered the weekend having won nine out of 10 and seemed to be hitting its stride. A three-game set against UConn would be very telling for the Scarlet Knights and they dropped three close games in Storrs, Conn.
Weather concerns forced the two sides to play a double-header on Friday afternoon and it was as closely played as possible.
In game one, Evan Sleight crushed a solo home run while Ryan Lasko and Andy Axelson knocked RBI singles to give Rutgers a 3-0 lead. The Huskies quickly answered with four runs to take their first lead of the series.
Lasko added another RBI knock in the eighth inning to put Rutgers back on top 7-6. Tied at eight in the 11th inning, UConn got a two-out RBI single to walk it off. Drew Conover got the start and went 2+ innings allowing four runs on one hit while walking four.
In game two, Rutgers took another early lead on an Axelson single in the second inning. UConn would answer immediately, which became the theme of the weekend. Morton put the Huskies on top with a grand slam in the bottom of the second. From this moment on, Rutgers was playing from behind.
The Scarlet Knights would get within one in the third with a Chris Brito RBI single and then later scoring on a wild pitch. UConn responded with two in the fifth to build the lead back up. Jordan Sweeney added an RBI single in the seventh and ninth but Rutgers fell short, 6-5.
After two one-run losses on Friday, the Scarlet Knights had a chance to salvage the final game of the series.
For the third consecutive game, Rutgers got out to an early lead as Lasko launched a solo home run. Trailing 2-0, UConn responded with two solo home runs to tie the game. Another back-and-forth affair continued as Rutgers went back on top on a Josh Kuroda-Grauer single. A third home run of the day put UConn back on top in the fifth inning.
The long ball was the story for UConn. In the bottom of the ninth, the fourth home run of the game, a three-run bomb, walked it off for the Huskies for the second time in three games.
A tough weekend came to an end as UConn earned two walkout victories and won three games by a total of four runs.
Rutgers will be back in action on Wednesday afternoon as it hosts NJIT at Bainton Field. The Scarlet Knights will also remain home this weekend with Michigan State coming to Piscataway for a three-game set.