Following the trip out west to several schools in California, UConn baseball is ready to play on its own field. This was the last long stretch of games on road, and the Huskies will be in Storrs more regularly for the rest of the season, beginning with a Wednesday game facing the Bryant University Bulldogs.
UConn will take the field with a 14-4 record, and Bryant comes to Connecticut 6-10 on its season so far. Most recently, the Huskies faced the University of California-
Prior to UCSD, UConn lost 7-1 to Long Beach State University. This was a full-180 from the game right before that where the Huskies beat the University of Southern California Trojans 7-1. UConn opened the trip with a three-game series against Pepperdine University, which the Hook C won in the first two games. There, the Huskies held the Waves to only two runs before Pepperdine beat UConn in a close 6-5 game.
Despite the losses, UConn is playing fairly consistent baseball. Dropped games were due to repetitive mistakes on defense, or just coming up short by a run or two needed to force extra innings and overcome the opponent.
Bryant started its season strong by sweeping its first series of 2022 against East Carolina University. After that, the Bulldogs lost nine straight games to various clubs. While the losses were consistent for Bryant, the way the team lost wasn’t. Some nights, it was by one or two. Others, specifically against Old Dominion, resulted in a demolishing of the Bulldogs. Old Dominion beat Bryant 7-6 one night only to stampede the next night and finish 23-7.
At this point in the season, the only team that the Huskies and Bulldogs have both faced is the University of Hartford Hawks. UConn played Hartford at home on a day that was far from balmy as the weather in Florida, where the Huskies played several games before the home opener. UConn head coach Jim Penders was reluctant to attribute the game’s mistakes and “goofiness” to the cold, unsure of what caused such a messy game. Nonetheless, the Huskies beat the Hawks 8-3 with hits and key outs when needed to prevent Hartford from running up the score.
Bryant, too, defeated Hartford’s team when they played last week. The Bulldogs beat the Hawks 12-3, as seven runs in the third inning alone gave Bryant its fourth win of the season at that point. Considering both teams held Hartford to three runs, it’ll be interesting to see how their offensive and defensive plays will contribute to the final score. UConn has had strong at-bats from Casey Dana, Zach Bushling and Erik Stock all season, with Dana’s breakthrough coming this past weekend. Coupled with limiting the opponent’s runners on base, the Hook C can start another win streak.
The game on Wednesday, March 23, begins at 3:05 p.m. in Storrs, with broadcasting by FloSports and ESPN 97.9.