The UConn baseball team really couldn’t be in a much better spot entering conference play.
The Huskies (14-12) have won nine of their last 10 games, including a remarkable late-inning comeback against Bryant on Tuesday. The Huskies were down 8-3 in the seventh inning but rallied for six runs in the seventh and eighth innings to pull off the win. Everything is working for the team right now. Even in games where they don’t play well for most of it, they’re finding a way to win.
Head coach Jim Penders said after Tuesday’s game that he doesn’t want the team taking those types of games for granted. He would rather the team play a complete nine innings, but he said it is nice to know that when their backs are against the wall, they still have the fight to come back and win.
Friday’s game against Georgetown (0-1) will be UConn’s first Big East game since they beat Notre Dame on May 26, 2013 to win the Big East Championship. There will be four games this weekend at Elliot Ballpark: one on Friday at 6 p.m., a doubleheader on Saturday starting at noon and one on Sunday starting at 1:05 p.m.
According to UConn’s website, Ben Casparius is slated to start on the mound Friday night, followed by Austin Peterson and Pat Gallagher in the two games on Saturday and Joe Simeone on Sunday. Casparius and Peterson for the most part have been really solid this season, especially recently. Gallagher had a couple of great midweek starts in a row before getting knocked around by Bryant in the second inning of Tuesday’s game. Simeone hasn’t been great, but he picked up his first win with a scoreless outing last Sunday against UMass.
At the plate, Kyler Fedko, Reggie Crawford and Pat Winkel have been the anchors of the lineup, seemingly coming up with big hits every game. Christian Fedko and Erik Stock have also been really good, each batting over .300. UConn’s team batting average is all the way up to .284 now after being down in the .230 range just a few weeks ago. If the Huskies continue to get good hitting and good pitching this weekend, there’s no reason this winning streak can’t continue.
For some reason, Georgetown didn’t start its season until this week, so we don’t really know much about the team. The Hoyas lost to VCU 13-4 on Wednesday, so that’s not great, but it’s too small of a sample size to make any assumptions. The pitching was not good for Georgetown in that game. They clearly were trying to get as many arms in there as possible to shake the rust off, and there was a lot of rust.
Georgetown used 11 pitchers and all but four of them allowed runs. The starter Jack Weeks got tagged with the loss after letting up two runs in the first inning, but the whole staff struggled. At the plate, the Hoyas got all their runs from two guys: shortstop Andrew Ciufo and catcher Matt Stone. Ciufo drove in three with a two-run home run and a RBI single. Stone added a run on a solo home run.
That’s pretty much it for the Georgetown scouting report. On paper, this weekend is a mismatch. One of the hottest teams in college baseball against a rusty team that has played one game and lost by nine runs. We’ll have to see what happens though. Once conference play starts, it’s a whole new game.