The UConn baseball team (5-4) will look to bounce back after a frustrating weekend series this Tuesday when they take on in-state rival Yale at J.O. Christian Field. The game against Yale will be the Huskies’ first home contest of the 2016 season.
UConn has shown this season that they have plenty of resolve, fighting back from late deficits in multiple games. In Virginia this past weekend, they found themselves trailing the Liberty Flames at the end of all three games, and in all three games they mounted comeback efforts.
However, only one such effort resulted in a victory: a 7-5 win in 11 innings on Saturday evening, after Joe DeRoche-Duffin forced extra innings with a ninth-inning home run. On Friday, the Huskies’ ninth-inning rally fell short in an 8-5 setback. It was a similar story in Sunday’s 5-4 rubber game loss as UConn could not capitalize with runners on base.
Three of the Huskies’ four losses this season have come by only one run, a particularly painful start for a team that left 28 runners on base this past weekend. By contrast, the team’s five victories have come by an average of 10 runs, a statistic undoubtedly skewed by a 25-3 rout of Alcorn State in Tennessee on Feb. 28.
UConn will look to get back on track Tuesday when they play their first game of the season at their home field in Storrs. The Huskies were 9-7 at J.O. Christian Field last season, including a 3-1 mark outside of American Athletic Conference play.
Their opponent Tuesday, in-state rival Yale, kicked off their season this past weekend with a disastrous trip to Texas A&M. The Bulldogs lost all three games by a combined score of 35-7.
One three-game series is an admittedly small size with which to judge a team’s lineup, but Yale’s hitters have not fared too well this season. The team has just a .152 batting average, including 33 strikeouts in 92 at-bats. Five players have multiple hits, and Nate Adams leads the way with three base knocks.
Yale’s pitching staff has accumulated an earned run average of 11.25 through 24.0 innings of work, including 18 strikeouts. Chasen Ford, Mason Kukowski and Scott Politz have recorded starts on the mound for the Bulldogs, although it is likely another starter gets the nod on Tuesday.
It is unclear who will start for the Huskies on Tuesday. It could be sophomore Willie Montgomery, who lasted just 1.1 innings as the starter in Saturday’s loss to Liberty, or also junior Andrew Zapata, who started the Huskies’ first two Sunday games of the season but did not pitch this past Sunday.
UConn is 41-21-1 all-time against Yale, with the last meeting being in Storrs last year. In that meeting, the Huskies crushed the Bulldogs 18-1 at J.O. Christian Field.
First pitch between UConn and Yale is scheduled for 2 p.m. The game can be heard on WHUS.
Tyler Keating is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering UConn baseball. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.