Quality midweek starts leading baseball team to wins

Sophomore P.J. Poulin fires a pitch during the Huskies 11-3 victory over UMass on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Poulin was an integral part pitching five innings, giving up one run on three hits. (Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog)

A day after sophomore Ronnie Rossomando allowed just three runs on six innings of work, UConn got another good outing from a midweek starter. Fellow sophomore P.J. Poulin took the mound on Tuesday and pitched five innings, giving up one run on three hits in an 11-3 Huskies win.

Poulin, a Massachusetts native, turned in career-highs in both innings pitched and strikeouts in a win against UMass (8-21, 3-6 Atlantic 10). The lefty struck out five and allowed three walks in his third start of the season.

“I had my fastball going for me, in and out pretty much all day,” Poulin said of his outing. “My changeup has been coming along well and my splitter. I thought just using those pitches I was able to get ahead of guys and get guys out.”

Poulin has a 4.72 ERA in his nine appearances this year. The sophomore has pitched 13.1 innings, allowing 16 hits, seven earned runs and seven walks while striking out 10.

For UConn (21-14, 6-3 The American), these midweek outings are important to their success this season. The weekend rotation of Tim Cate, Wills Montgomerie and Mason Feole has been solid, and getting good starts out of midweek games will help the Huskies pick up crucial wins.

“Obviously the weekend guys have been doing really well,” Poulin said. “Ronnie and I stepping up during the midweeks to get us some wins, it’s looking good for our team.”

With Tuesday’s win, UConn moved to 4-3 on the season in midweek games. While Rossomando and Poulin haven’t been this good all season, this week’s starts were valuable for head coach Jim Penders to see.

“Ronnie and (Poulin) are kind of coming along, and they need to now that we’re going to be playing two midweeks,” Penders said. “They’re very important to us. Those guys have got to be locked in and ready to go on Monday-Tuesday, Tuesday-Wednesday, whenever they’re called on.

On the season, Poulin and Rossomando have made 23 appearances and only eight have been starts. This versatility has been key to UConn’s pitching.

“If you need them out of the bullpen on the weekend they have to be ready to do that that too, so they’re kind of multipurpose guys,” Penders said. “Right now I’d like to have them settle into those roles and hopefully we don’t have to go to anybody else, they can handle it.”


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