Baseball: UConn heads to Northeastern for battle of the Huskies

UConn pitcher Trevor Holmes fires a pitch to a Tulane hitter during a 14-5 loss on Saturday, April 2 at J.O. Christian Field. UConn will head to Northeastern to take on the Huskies. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

Following a weather-shortened split weekend series against Tulane, the UConn baseball team (13-12, 1-1 the American) will head to Boston for the second Tuesday in a row, this time to play the Northeastern University Huskies (13-12, 3-2 CAA) at 3 p.m. at Friedman Diamond.

The battle of the Huskies takes place almost a year to the day since their last meeting on April 7, 2015. The last matchup was a game that UConn dominated, winning 9-1 on the back of a strong start by pitcher Andrew Zapata and culminating with a late offensive rally to seal the game. 

UConn has dominated the all-time series as well, leading the series against Northeastern by a significant margin with a 54-18-1 record, including victories in five of the last six meetings.

On the mound, UConn will likely start sophomore right-hander William Montgomerie (1-1), who is third on the team with 30 strikeouts in four starts. He has a 5.49 ERA at this point in the season and will look to improve on his record after a few rough starts. 

The strikeout leaders on the team are junior Anthony Kay and freshman Tim Cate, with 48 and 42, respectively. Both rank in the top-eight in the American Athletic Conference for strikeouts. Another freshman pitcher, right-hander Randy Polonia, is fifth in the conference with three saves thus far on the season.

Meanwhile at the plate, through 25 games in the season, Willy Yahn and hometown kid Jack Sundberg are in the top-10 in batting average in the conference, batting .324 and .323 respectively. Senior captain Bobby Melley remains in the top-10 in the conference in a number of categories, including runs scored (26), RBIs (27), walks (22) and on-base percentage (.412).

Although they have been inconsistent all season, Northeastern has won four of their last five games going into the matchup and are 4-2 at home this season, so they will be looking to extend their stretch of good performances on Tuesday.

On the other side of the diamond, UConn has been similarly inconsistent for much of the year thus far. Starting with a hopefully strong performance on Tuesday, UConn could build some momentum going into the next couple weeks and build up a nice résumé as the team heads towards the bulk of conference play in the latter half of the season and into the post-season.


Chris Hanna is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at christopher.hanna@uconn.edu.