Baseball: Huskies to take on CCSU in first game of the season in Connecticut

Willy Yahn fields a grounder during UConn's 8-2 victory over Yale at J.O. Christian Field on Tuesday March 8, 2016. (Rebecca Newman/The Daily Campus)

Willy Yahn fields a grounder during UConn's 8-2 victory over Yale at J.O. Christian Field on Tuesday March 8, 2016. (Rebecca Newman/The Daily Campus)

The long wait is finally over. The UConn Huskies baseball team will officially be back and playing a regular season game in Connecticut this Tuesday when the team takes on the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils at CCSU Baseball Field in New Britain, Connecticut.

The game was originally supposed to take place Wednesday afternoon but was moved to Tuesday at 3 P.M. after the Huskies’ matchup with Yale, originally scheduled for Tuesday, was postponed due to unplayable field conditions. That game will be played at a later date to be determined.

Nevertheless, UConn will go into the matchup with the Blue Devils with a 9-8 record on the year after losing four of their last five games in a West Coast road trip. The Huskies kept each game close, however, losing by just a single run in three of the four losses.

CCSU will come into the midweek game with a similar record, having started 9-7 this season and is 4-0 at home including a sweep over Mount St. Mary’s this past weekend in which the Blue Devils outscored their opposition 15-1. However, UConn is a much more threatening team at the plate than Mount St. Mary’s, which could give Central some issues. In fact, CCSU has struggled against better competition, such as No. 18 Oklahoma, which swept them in four games, outscoring the Blue Devils 33 runs to just five.

The Huskies might be able to do the same damage as the Sooners did, given run production has not been an issue for UConn this season. Despite losing several of their best offensive players to graduation last year, the Huskies have scored at least five runs in all but three games thus far. A big part of that has been the huge improvement at the plate from sophomore catcher Zac Susi.

As a freshman, Susi batted .250 with 21 RBI and couldn’t crack the heart of the batting order. The catcher worked on putting on weight and gaining muscle over the offseason and is now a fixture in the middle of the order, batting .349 with 19 RBI through just 17 games. Between Susi and breakout seasons from redshirt junior Isaac Feldstein and freshmen Anthony Prato and Conor Moriarty, the Huskies have had no trouble when it comes to giving the pitching staff some run support.

Speaking of Susi, this game will be a little extra important to the catcher, whose older brother Brett Susi is a senior pitcher for the Blue Devils. A win could give the younger Susi bragging rights after last year’s game between the two teams at J.O. Christian Field ended in favor of CCSU 8-4. In that game, the Huskies’ Susi went 1-4 and struck out once, while the eldest Susi did not make an appearance out of the bullpen. Perhaps this year, the two will be able to matchup if Brett gets called to the mound.

UConn’s slate of home games this season won’t officially begin until this coming weekend against Seton Hall but, until then, the Huskies have the first matchup in the state of Connecticut tomorrow. When baseball is back at New England ballparks, spring is here to stay.


Chris Hanna is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at christopher.hanna@uconn.edu. He tweets @realchrishanna.