Baseball: Huskies head to Cincinnati for 3-game weekend series

UConn baseball redshirt freshman pitcher Tyler Holmes delivers a pitch during the Huskies' game against Tulane at J.O. Christian Field in Storrs, Connecticut on Saturday, April 2, 2016. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

The UConn baseball team will look to overcome their latest setback during a three-game weekend series against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Marge Schott Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio on April 8-10.

The Huskies (13-13, 1-1 The American) will resume conference play against the Bearcats (14-15, 2-1 The American) after their first series against Tulane was cut short due to weather.

This week has certainly been untraditional for the Huskies, with two cancelations due to rain and a home game turned away game.

On Wednesday, UConn dropped a close contest at Hartford by a score of 4-3. The Huskies blew a late-inning lead again, further emphasizing the bullpen problems that have plagued the Huskies all season.

Randy Polonia, Doug Domnarski and Sam Nepiarsky, three of the most used bullpen arms, have collectively given up 32 hits in 28.2 innings, with nine earned runs.

Bullpen problems are not limited to the Huskies. The three most used bullpen arms for the Bearcats, Clayton Colvin, Chris Gang and Colton Cleary, have pitched a combined 30 innings and have given up 25 hits and 15 earned runs.

UConn does not bode well on the road either. They own a 5-11 road record this year, which does not match up well against Cincinnati’s 12-3 home record.

Though home field advantage is usually of inflated importance in college sports, the disparity is not in UConn’s favor, especially as of late.

Additionally, there is a wide gap between the two teams’ offenses. The Huskies have a team batting average of .272, ranked third in the conference. The Bearcats’ .247 team average is good for seventh in the conference.

They have 118 RBI’s this year as opposed to UConn’s 154.

Interestingly enough, Cincinnati has the conference’s best defense, boasting a .979 fielding percentage with only 22 errors on the season. UConn ranks dead last in defense, with a .962 fielding percentage and 36 errors committed.

UConn is 17-9 against Cincinnati in the last 10 years. Since moving to The American, the Huskies have won five out of six matchups, including a three-game series sweep against them in 2015.

Sophomore infielder Willy Yahn leads the team with a .328 batting average, which ranks eighth overall in the conference, and 38 hits, which is second in the conference. 

The Huskies will turn to him at the top of the order to pick them back up after a disappointing midweek setback that brought UConn back down to a .500 record. 

First pitch for both Friday and Saturday is scheduled for 6 p.m., with Sunday’s contest beginning at 1 p.m.


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.