Baseball: Montgomerie, pitching staff looks to stay hot

The Huskies played the Fairfield College Stags on 4/12/16 at J.O. Christian Field.  After a short rain delay, the Huskies took the lead early on in the game, and held on to win 2-1 over the Stags. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

Through three weeks of the college baseball season, UConn junior Wills Montgomerie leads all of Division I with 36 strikeouts.

Montgomerie recorded 14 strikeouts in six innings against Stetson last weekend, in part of a school record-tying 20 strikeout performance by the Huskies’ pitching staff. With the dominant performance, Montgomerie also recorded his third win of the year, tied for second in the nation.

As a team, UConn (6-4) also leads Division I with 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings. The Huskies have recorded 122 strikeouts in 10 games this season, well ahead of their record-setting strikeout pace last year.

UConn will look for continued success on the mound when the team heads west to take on UC Davis this weekend. The Huskies and Aggies will play a three-game series in what will be the first meeting between the two teams.

UC Davis (4-7) is new to the Division I baseball scene, recently joining in 2008. The Aggies ended a five-game losing streak their last time out, beating Penn State 10-2 behind a 3-of-4 day at the plate from shortstop Jacob Thomas, including three RBIs and three runs scored.

Thomas leads the Aggies with a .375 average, 10 runs scored and is tied for the team lead with 15 hits. Sophomore Ryan Anderson also has 15 hits, and leads the team with three home runs on the season.

On the mound for UC Davis will likely be Robert Garcia, Orlando Razo and Justin Mullins. Razo leads the Aggies with 20 strikeouts in 17 innings, and is scheduled to face off against Montgomerie on Saturday in a pitchers’ duel that may frustrate opposing batters.

For UConn, probable starters are P.J. Poulin, Wills Montgomerie and Mason Feole. Poulin is making his first start of the season, filling in for an injured Tim Cate. The sophomore has appeared in five games this year, giving up three hits in 2.2 innings.

The Huskies hope to get back a key member this weekend, as Willy Yahn is expected to play his first game of the season after recovering from a broken left hand. Yahn led the conference with 88 hits last year and should provide a boost to the UConn offense.


Josh Buser is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at joshua.buser@uconn.edu.