After a home opener win against UMass and an impressive sweep over Rutgers that capped off a truly fantastic week of sports from the Huskies across baseball and men’s basketball, the UConn baseball team will go toe to toe with another impressive foe, an opponent whom this program knows very well.
That oppenent comes in the form of the Boston College Eagles, and the 2023 season has shown that this singular game will be the toughest test for this UConn team thus far. The Eagles have overcome quality tests like Tennessee in Knoxville, Virginia Tech on the road and most recently, with a series win over NC State. Even though they’ll be heading to Elliot Ballpark for a matchup with the Huskies, it’s clear that they’ve established their standing as a feared lineup in college baseball and are bound to give some problems for this Connecticut lineup.
Ranked No. 14 by D1 Baseball in their latest top 25 poll, the 17-5 Eagles boast a lineup of players quality hitters like Barry Walsh, captain Peter Burns and the dangerous Travis Honeyman. All are currently hitting above .300, with Walsh leading the bunch at a .355 average. With plenty of offense from this lineup, the Hook C’s arms will certainly have a tough challenge in containing this group of talent.
As stated before, UConn’s opponents on Tuesday have been built for games like this. They’re ranked seventh in RPI and first in the country in non-conference RPI. They also have the 27th ranked strength of schedule too and with the history between these two teams across all sports, this is more than just an ordinary New England division one baseball game.
Of course, the Huskies are having a bit of a run themselves and are determined to show that they can’t be messed with either. With six wins in a row and players like Dominic Freeberger and Ben Huber continuing to be forces at the plate this season, they’ve shown that it’s going to take some true talent to beat this lineup, especially if the offense continues to have a hot streak.
With such a task as containing the Eagles, the main concern could be the bullpen in this one. UConn’s starting pitching has shown to be effective thus far, with the offense continuing to produce like it has in the past. With a powerhouse offense slated to come to Storrs however, the margin for error from the bullpen narrows down, especially with what Boston College has shown against elite pitching from teams like Tennessee this season. While Boston College doesn’t have the most talented pitching rotation that the Hook C have faced this year, the Huskies can’t depend on their offense to get them out of this game. It’s going to take a quality performance from everyone who steps on that field at Elliot Ballpark for a win on Tuesday.
Regardless, this top-25 New England matchup is going to be a fantastic showdown and an opportunity for UConn to gain even more momentum from this winning stretch of baseball. The Hook C have historically been triumphant over their Massachusetts opponents with 70 overall wins to brag about, winning their last matchup by a score of 8-0 in Brighton. This time, in UConn’s neck of the woods, they’re looking to repeat their dominance from last year.