Baseball: Huskies look to rebound against Central Connecticut

Willy Yahn fields a grounder during UConn's 8-2 victory over Yale at J.O. Christian Field on Tuesday March 8, 2016. Yahn has a .325 batting average this season. (Rebecca Newman/The Daily Campus)

After a disappointing weekend in California that saw the UConn baseball team blow three late-inning leads, the Huskies return home to face in-state rival Central Connecticut on Wednesday.

The Huskies (9-9) will play at home for only the second time this season. They beat Yale 8-2 in their home opener on Mar. 8.

Over spring break, UConn embarked on a long California road trip that saw the Huskies win three out of eight games. After sweeping a two-game series against William & Mary to open the trip, UConn dropped two against Cal State Northridge before winning a single game against USC.

The Huskies finished the weekend by dropping three games to UC Santa Barbara, whom UConn played for the first time in program history. They had the lead in all three games but the bullpen failed to close it out in the final innings, resulting in three-straight losses in which the bullpen blew a late-inning lead.

The matchup against Central is in favor of the Huskies, as CCSU lacks both strong pitching and powerful offense. They hold a team batting average of .242 with only two home runs and have collectively amassed 101 strikeouts in only 16 games.

On the pitching side, while CCSU’s rotation has held batters to a .259 average, their ERA is a subpar 4.67, which heavily favors the explosive nature of UConn’s offense.

UConn boasts a lopsided 28-7 lifetime record against CCSU. UConn trounced Central 17-2 on the road their last meeting on Mar. 25, 2015.

Central is 5-11 this season and 0-4 in Northeastern Conference play. The Blue Devils will go into Wednesday’s contest having dropped six-straight games.

The Huskies go in with a three-game losing streak of their own. While the back end of the bullpen looks to recuperate, UConn will turn to its offensive leaders at the top of the order—Bryan Daniello, Willy Yahn and Bobby Melley—to give the Huskies enough breathing room to take some nerves off the pitchers once the late innings hit.

First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at J.O Christian Field.


Stephanie Sheehan is a staff writer  for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at stephanie.sheehan@uconn.edu. She tweets @steph_sheehan.