After spending the first month and a half of the season on the road, the UConn baseball team will get their first crack at a home-and-away series in Elliot Ballpark. Riding a hot streak from their shutout victory over Central Connecticut State University, the Huskies (7-11) will look to keep the ball rolling with a matchup against the Rhode Island Rams.
Leading the way for UConn is Kyler Fedko. After a slow start to the season, the third-year senior has upped his batting average to an impressive .410 and leads the team with 25 hits on the year. He is coming off back-to-back Big East Player of the Week awards and will look to get his first hit at Elliott Ballpark after coming up empty in their opener against CCSU.
Fedko isn’t the only bat putting in work this year, though, as the Huskies have four other regular starters hitting over .280. Leadoff man Zach Bushling has been excellent from his spot, batting .313 on the year and crossing home plate a team-high 17 times while cleanup batter Reggie Crawford has flexed his offseason improvements, slashing a .292/.373/.646 line and leading the team in RBIs (22) and homers (6).
UConn also seems to have figured stuff out on the mound and are heading into this weekend’s series coming off consecutive shutout games.
Ace Ben Casparius is putting up a 3.34 ERA and appears to be improving with every start. In his last outing against a tough Texas Tech team, the North Carolina transfer threw 6.2 innings, allowing four runs but striking out 11 in his second win of the year. Apart from Casparius, other young guns have been stepping up big time, with Austin Peterson and Pat Gallagher both showing out in their shutout victories.
The Huskies have the bats to compete with just about any team in the country, so if their pitching can begin to find it’s leverage too, you’ll start seeing a lot more results going in UConn’s favor.
The Rams’ (9-7-1) bats have gotten off to a slow start, as they’ve scored more than six runs just three times on the year. Austin White paces the team with a .355 batting average, racking up a team-high 22 hits and 13 runs to go along with seven RBIs.
Rhode Island wins by putting players on base, as they’ve only hit one home run thus far in the year, so it will be crucial for the Huskies to get early outs in this one.
The other highlight of these Rhody team is their pitching. Ace Ryan Twitchell is 2-0 in what has been an impressive start, boasting a 1.47 ERA through 30.2 innings, allowing 23 hits and striking out 16.
Out of the bullpen, Nick Robinson and Zach Fernandez are playing like some of the best relief pitchers in the game. Their combined 1.89 ERA through 25.2 innings has been more than expected of them, so UConn will have to get on the board early if they hope to clinch the win.
First pitch for this weekend’s games are Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. before the Huskies head to Rhode Island for Sunday’s noon finale.