Around the American: ECU, Tulane lead the way halfway through conference play

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The UConn Huskies beat the University of Memphis 4 – 2, Sunday, at J. O. Christian Field. UConn had a double steal in the eighth inning, a risky move that put them in the position to take back the lead and finish off the game leading by two. (Photo by Kevin Lindstrom/The Daily Campus)

We have reached the halfway point in conference play: Four series down, four to go. While the Huskies duke it out with the first place ECU ballclub, Tulane sits in second and trails the Pirates by just a game. We’re here to take a look at all the conference weekend action in this edition of Around the American.

Tulane @ Memphis 

The second place Green Wave will likely be rooting for UConn to steal a series win from the top-dog Pirates, but the Memphis Tigers should not be taken lightly. The first game is set for Friday night with a Saturday double-header to conclude the series. 

Tulane is fresh off a mid-week loss following a three-game sweep of last place USF, outscoring the Bulls 35-17 over the course of the weekend. Third baseman Kody Hoese was named the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LWSA) Hitter of the Week for his performance in Tulane’s first conference sweep since 2017. The junior slugger smashed a home run in each game of the series, scoring 10 times while slugging 1.200. 

Memphis may have dropped two of three to UConn last weekend and their midweek matchup with No. 11 Ole Miss, but freshman Hunter Goodman found himself on the AAC weekly honor roll for the third time this season. The young, middle-of-the-lineup bat batted .538 in the trip to Storrs, scoring three times with four RBIs. 

Cincinnati @ Houston 

Fourth placed Cincinnati sits neck-and-neck with the Huskies with both at 7-5 against American opponents. After being run-ruled in eight innings by UCF, the Bearcats bounced back to take the next two from the Knights. Joey Wiemer lead the way for Cincy, going 3-for-8 with two runs and a pair of RBIs in the double-header sweep. The personality-filled left fielder ended the series with a walk-off, two-run home run in game two. 

The Houston Cougars may just be the hottest team in The American. Winners of five straight games, the fifth placed Cougars swept a series against Wichita State in-between wins over Sam Houston State and Texas A&M. Lael Lockhart Jr. earned conference pitcher of the week. The junior southpaw struck out a career-high nine batters, without giving up an earned run over six innings on the mound.

 UCF @ Wichita State 

USF gets the weekend off from conference play, leaving the Knights from Central Florida and the Shockers to square off ahead of Easter Sunday. UCF could use a win after dropping their last three in a row.  

Seventh in the conference, UCF will look to Grant Schuermann to kick the series off right Thursday night. The left-handed redshirt senior has tossed three-straight quality starts with a 0.83 ERA over that span, allowing just two-earned runs. 

Dating back to April 6 against Tulane, the Shockers have dropped six straight games. Senior infielder Luke Ritter has been a bright spot for the team in eighth. Carrying a .374 season average, Ritter has six hits over his team’s last six games while driving in just one of his team high 28 RBI over the span. The second best hitter in the conference has an impressive, and team best, 1.200 OPS 


Kevin Arnold is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at kevin.arnold@uconn.edu.

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