The No. 24 UConn baseball team continues to rise in the rankings after another series win against the high-powered Southeastern Louisiana team. The Huskies will look to get off to a quick start this weekend against North Florida.
“Great response from the guys to show some fight on Saturday,” UConn head coach Jim Penders said after the team swept a double-header last weekend. “There won’t be too many teams outside our league that will give us the test that Southeastern did, especially on the bases.”
UConn (4-2) will not have to be as worried about North Florida’s (3-6) speed on the base path, as they have swiped only six bases. Meanwhile, the Huskies allowed Southeastern Louisiana to steal six bases in the first game. But the team has continued to work on getting the ball to second and third quickly.
Junior catcher Zac Susi was named the American Conference Player of the Week after going 6-14 at the dish with five key RBIs. He was selected to the Preseason All-Conference team and is certainly expected to continue his success over the course of this season.
Penders said that the team will look to build on the positives this weekend against North Florida.
“We expect another tough series on the road,” Penders said. “North Florida has a solid program that always contends in their league. We need to get off the plane and be ready to go. Timmy (Cate) and our guys will be itching to get this series off to a good start. (We are) excited for another big challenge.”
The Huskies’ ace Tim Cate had to work hard in the first inning against Southeastern Louisiana, throwing 29 pitches. He ended up going five innings, surrendering only two earned runs.
The Huskies pitching staff will have to slow down Wesley Weeks, who is hitting .378/.395/.459 with 3 RBIs. Tanner Murphy has been getting it done for the Ospreys, hitting .270/.325/.568 with 11 RBIs and three of the team’s five homers.
Adam Polansky has been North Florida’s best starting pitcher this season through two starts. Over 9.2 innings pitched, Polansky has a 2.79 ERA and five strikeouts. The Ospreys staff ERA is a bloated 5.96.
The Ospreys will be heading into the weekend coming off two losses against No. 1 Florida Tuesday and Wednesday. They were outscored by nine runs during the two ballgames.
The Huskies and Ospreys will battle on the diamond beginning Friday at 6:05 p.m., Saturday at 2:05 p.m. and round out the series Sunday at 12:05 p.m.
Michael Logan is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.