Jan. 20, 2014
STORRS, Conn. – The UConn baseball team held the 2014 Preseason Dinner on Saturday evening at the Rome Ballroom on campus. The event was highlighted by honoring of the 20th anniversary of the 1994 BIG EAST Championship-winning team, as well as the recognition of the 2013 BIG EAST Championship-winning squad.
Head Coach Jim Penders also honored former Husky Doug Elliot (’82) with the UConn Baseball Distinguished Alumni Award. The event was capped with a Q&A featuring guest speakers Karl Ravech and John Kruk of ESPN.
Opening remarks were made by UConn President Susan Herbst and Director of Athletics Warde Manuel, who each praised the direction of the baseball program under Penders. Elliot was then honored by Penders. The former UConn backstop and captain is currently the President of Commercial Markets for the Hartford Financial Services, Inc. His son, Doug, also played catcher at UConn, playing under Penders from 2007-11.
Following the dinner portion of the program, the 1994 team was honored, led by remarks from its head coach, Andy Baylock. The ’94 club made the BIG EAST Championship as the fourth seed of four teams, but defeated top-seed Pittsburgh before winning two-of-three against Seton Hall at Muzzy Field in Bristol, Conn. to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
Next, the 1994 team was asked by Penders to present the 2013 team with the rings from last year’s BIG EAST Championship. The ’13 squad, like their ’94 predecessors, entered the field as the lowest seed, this time No. 8. UConn then defeated top-seed Louisville, USF, Rutgers and Notre Dame for an improbable run to the title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years.
Ravech and Kruk then took the stage for an informal Q&A to round out the evening. UConn baseball alumni from five decades were in attendance for the event, which unofficially kicked off the 2014 season.
Penders and the 2014 Huskies open the 118th season in program history in Port Charlotte, Fla. on Feb. 14 when they take on Ohio State in the Snowbird Classic.