Washington’s 5-run eighth tops UConn 7-1 in NCAA opener

CONWAY, S.C.  — Levi Jordan and AJ Graffanino had three hits apiece, including RBI singles in a five-run eighth inning, to lift third-seeded Washington over No. 2 seed UConn to start the NCAA Tournament on Friday.

Joe DeMers (7-3) held UConn to six hits over eight innings to keep Washington out front. He struck out six and retired 14 of 15 batters at one stretch.

Washington (31-23) will play in the winner’s bracket Saturday while UConn (35-21-1) will play an elimination game that day.

Washington was clinging to a 2-1 lead through seven when the Huskies put together a five-run rally with just three hits. UConn walked two batters, committed an error and had a passed ball to keep Washington going.

UConn’s best chance to rally came in the seventh with consecutive one-out singles by Chris Winkel and Christian Fedko. But Conor Moriarty hit into a double play.