How quickly things can change in sports. Just last week, the UConn Huskies baseball team was one of the hottest teams in the nation and found its way into the rankings for the first time in six years. Four losses later, the Huskies look like a very different team and one that is in desperate need of a win against the in-state foe Quinnipiac Bobcats on Monday.
The Bobcats (11-21, 4-8 MAAC) are the perfect team for UConn to face coming off a losing streak, having lost seven of their last eight games and having struggled offensively, batting just .238 for the season. Quinnipiac’s pitching has also allowed plenty of hits this year, with an opponents’ batting average of .293.
One batter the Huskies need to be wary of is the Bobcats’ Liam Scarfariello, a sophomore outfielder/first baseman who played with UConn’s Zac Susi in high school. Scarfariello has batted just .231 for the year, but leads his team with 12 home runs, 23 RBI’s and 16 walks. He’s also struck out a team-leading 57 times, so his tendency to hit for power can be exploited by the Huskies’ pitching staff.
UConn, which dropped to 19-14, 6-3 the American after the Tulane series, has had some success playing at home this season in limited opportunities. The Huskies are 3-1 playing at J. O. Christian Field this season, with the one loss coming against the Hartford Hawks on April 5.
Expected to start on the mound for UConn is right-handed sophomore Ronnie Rossomando, who has started the last three midweek games for the Huskies. UConn is only 1-2 in those games, but Rossomando has performed well enough. The sophomore has pitched a combined 12.2 innings, and only allowed nine hits and three runs while striking out eight batters over that span.
If Rossomando plays up to par, the Huskies should be able to get back on the winning track, as long as the likes of Susi and co-captain Willy Yahn can give the offense some juice.
Barring any poor field conditions, the game will start at 3 p.m. Monday afternoon and will be the first of two chances in the midweek for UConn to get a little momentum going before another edition of the Civil ConFLiCT against UCF this weekend.