Baseball: Huskies battle in-state rival Fairfield in Storrs

UConn junior infielder Aaron Hill makes a stop during the Huskies' game against Tulane at J.O. Christian Field in Storrs, Connecticut on Saturday, April 2, 2016. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

After dropping a weekend series in Cincinnati this past weekend, the UConn baseball team will return to J.O. Christian Field on Tuesday to battle in-state rival Fairfield University. The Huskies are 58-14-1 all-time against the Stags, including a 7-0 victory last April.

This past weekend, UConn traveled to Cincinnati to play their first road conference series of the 2016 season. The Huskies (14-15) were handed painful defeats on Friday and Saturday before salvaging the series with a 4-2 victory on Sunday.

In Sunday’s victory, starting pitcher William Montgomerie picked up his second win of the season after allowing one earned run on four hits over 5.0 innings on the mound. Reliever Randy Polonia grabbed the save with 2.1 innings of scoreless work, while Jack Sundberg led the offensive attack with two doubles and two runs batted in.

The Huskies are 1-2 in midweek contests against in-state rivals this season, with a win over Yale in early March followed by losses to Central Connecticut and Hartford. UConn did pick up a big victory over local rival Boston College on March 29.

With Montgomerie getting the starting nod this past Sunday, UConn head coach Jim Penders will probably hand the ball to usual weekend starter Ronnie Rossomando on Tuesday. Rossomando has compiled a 0-2 record in four starts this season, including a 3.00 earned run average over 24.0 innings.

Andrew Zapata could also receive the start, although he will likely start the next day when UConn meets Bryant University. Zapata currently has a 6.63 earned run average over 19.0 innings pitched.

Fairfield (12-16) is 5-12 on the road this season, although they just pulled off a sweep against Iona this past weekend. The Stags have bounced back from a brutal month of March by getting off to a 5-3 start in April.

The Stags have two hitters performing well over the .300 mark: Michael Conti, who has a .351 batting average, and Jake Salpietro, who has a .349 mark. Salpietro is the leading power threat with five home runs, and also leads the team with 20 runs batted in.

Mac Crispino, Kevin Radziewicz, Drew Arciuolo, Troy Scocca and Brendan Tracy are also vital offensive contributors for Fairfield.

The Huskies are likely to face starting pitchers Ryan O’Connor or Aaron Howell during Tuesday’s game. The Stags’ pitching staff has a 5.16 earned run average, allowing opposing batters to hit .310 at the plate.

UConn has won ten consecutive meetings with Fairfield, a streak that began in 2007. First pitch between the two teams is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Tuesday at J.O. Christian Field.


Tyler Keating is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at tyler.keating@uconn.edu.