March 13, 2014
PHILADELPHIA -- The UConn baseball team (5-8) heads to Philadelphia this weekend to play in the Big 5 Baseball Bash. The Huskies will take on St. Peter's (2-9) on Friday, March 14 at 11 a.m., before visiting La Salle (2-13) on Saturday, March 15 at 2 p.m. and Villanova (4-10) on Sunday, March 16 at 1:15 p.m. St. Peter's and La Salle are first time opponents for UConn, while Villanova is a familiar foe from the Big East.
Start Speading the News… The Huskies snapped a five-game losing streak with a 5-0 win over Sacred Heart on Tuesday in Yaphank, N.Y. in their first midweek game of the season. Andrew Zapata made his first collegiate start and shined, throwing 7.0 scoreless innings of one-hit ball. The freshman righty struck out five Pioneer batters and picked up the win. Vinny Siena extended his hitting streak to 18 games when he crushed a three-run home run to deep left field. The sophomore second baseman now has two career round-trippers.
About the Huskies… UConn is off to a 5-8 start in the 2014 season, including a 4-3 record in neutral site games. Siena is the Huskies’ top threat at the plate, leading the team in batting average (.340), hits (18), RBI (11), and slugging percentage (.472). The UConn starting rotation of upperclassmen Jordan Tabakman, Anthony Marzi and Brian Ward have helped propel the Husky staff to a 2.73 overall ERA. UConn’s 33-man roster boasts just 10 total upperclassman; a list that also features just three seniors. The Huskies are competing in their first season of the American Athletic Conference after winning their final BIG EAST Tournament title in 2013.
Scouting St. Peter’s… The Peacocks have just two wins in their first 11 games of the 2014 season and are currently on a five-game losing streak following a three-loss weekend to Delaware St. Sophomore SS Jon Kristofferson has notched 17 hits in his first 49 at-bats and boasts one of two St. Peter’s steals this season. As a staff, the Peacocks hold an 8.63 ERA, having surrendered 85 earned runs in 88.2 innings.
Scouting the Explorers… La Salle is 2-13 on the young season, including just a 1-11 record on the road. The Explorers have lost seven of their last eight games. Junior OF Justin Korenblatt leads the team with 10 RBI and is one of three starters to boast an OBP over .400. Redshirt-Junior RHP Shane Hollman has toed in the rubber in four starts, compiling a 4.32 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 16.2 innings of work.
Scouting the Wildcats… Villanova is off to a 4-10 start in 2014, including wins in two of its last three games. Sophomore 1B Max Beermann has paced the Wildcat offense with a .313 batting average and also has a home run and nine RBI. Junior LHP Josh Harris has anchored the Villanova rotation, turning in a 3.74 ERA in 21.2 innings.
All-time vs. Villanova… The Huskies have met their former BIG EAST rivals on the diamond in 60 games, jumping out to a 36-24 all-time series edge. The squads met for the three-game series in 2013 and UConn earned its first BIG EAST sweep since 2012.