After a few postponements and schedule changes, the UConn baseball team will finally host their first home game on Tuesday. The Huskies will welcome Northeastern to Storrs for a nonconference game. Last year, UConn went 14-5 at J.O. Christian Field, so the Huskies are likely happy to finally be playing in Storrs.
UConn (16-9, 3-0 the American) is fresh off of an impressive three-game sweep of then-No. 16 East Carolina. In the upset victories, the Huskies’ pitching staff limited the Pirates to just two combined earned runs in the three games.
Spearheading the dominant pitching was Friday’s starter Tim Cate. On Monday, Cate was named the American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week for his performance, allowing just five hits and no earned runs in seven innings, striking out 13 ECU batters. Wills Montgomerie and Mason Feole followed Cate’s lead with outstanding seven inning starts of their own on Saturday and Sunday.
Freshman shortstop Anthony Prato was also honored in the AAC’s weekly awards, earning a spot on the Weekly Honor Roll for his performance last week. Prato had a hit in each of the Huskies’ four games and his 6-17 (.353) week at the plate was a big part in UConn’s undefeated week. Prato recorded three RBIs and scored three runs.
After being on the road for the first 25 games of the season, UConn is heading into a week with five home games. The Huskies won 16 of those games, already more road wins than last year’s team and currently the most road wins in Division I. The impressive road performance and sweep of ECU has been good enough for the Huskies to receive some votes in this week’s USA Today Coaches’ Poll.
Northeastern comes into the game with an 11-14 record, most recently sweeping a three-game series with Towson over the weekend. The Huskies were 1-6 in the seven games before that sweep.
Offensively, Northeastern has three regular starters batting over .300 – Max Burt (.362), Cam Hanley (.350) and Mason Koppens (.302). Burt and Hanley are tied for the team lead with 19 RBI each and Koppens leads the Huskies in runs scored at 25. Pat Madigan has five of Northeastern’s 18 home runs, the most on the team.
UConn and Northeastern are scheduled to play at 3 p.m. at J.O. Christian Field. If the field is deemed unplayable, UConn head coach Jim Penders expects to play the game at Northeastern’s turf surface in Boston.
Josh Buser is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.