UConn Visits Nationally Ranked Louisville This Weekend

    Tom Verdi and the Huskies have won three in a row

    Tom Verdi and the Huskies have won three in a row

    April 24, 2014

    Game Notes (PDF) | Live Stats : Friday, Saturday, Sunday | Radio: WHUS.org, 91.7 FM | Video

    The Last Meeting
    May 22, 2013
    Bright House Networks Field - Clearwater, Fla.
    Huskies Upset Top-Seed Louisville In 12 Innings
    Senior Billy Ferriter hit an RBI single in the top of the 12th inning that scored Eric Yavarone to lead the No. 8-seed UConn baseball team to a 3-2 win over top-seed Louisville in the first round of the BIG EAST tournament

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Riding a three-game winning streak back into conference play, the University of Connecticut baseball team (21-19, 5-6 The American) heads to Louisville this weekend for three games against the nationally-ranked Cardinals (30-11, 8-4 The American). UConn and UofL will square off on Friday, April 25 at 6 p.m. before 1 p.m. contests on Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27.

    Midweek Action… After falling in the rubber game of its conference series with Temple last weekend, UConn bounced back with three consecutive midweek wins leading up to its conference showdown with No. 17 Louisville. The Huskies hosted Central Connecticut on Monday at J.O. Christian and were fueled by Brian Ward’s first career complete game en route to a 9-1 victory. Ward became the first Husky pitcher to record a complete game this season and the first since Anthony Marzi finished off Notre Dame in the 2013 BIG EAST Championship game on May 25, 2013. On Tuesday, Callahan Brown picked up his first collegiate win in the Huskies’ 8-5 victory over UMass. Blake Davey paced the Husky offense with a 2-for-3 showing, including a homer, three RBIs and three runs scored. Connecticut continued its hot play on Wednesday, taking advantage of a four-run eighth inning to surge past Quinnipiac on the road and pushing its record to two games over .500.

    About the Huskies… UConn is off to a 21-19 start in the 2014 season, including a 5-6 record in conference play. Four of UConn’s nine starters have recorded batting averages that top .270, led by Bobby Melley, who checks in at .381 and Davey, who is hitting at a .368 clip. The UConn starting rotation, which is anchored by upperclassmen Jordan Tabakman and Marzi, has helped propel the Husky staff to a 2.62 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 in the American Athletic Conference after winning their final BIG EAST Tournament title in 2013.  

    Scouting Louisville… Ranked as the No. 17 team in the country by the coaches and as high as No. 12 in other polls, the Cardinals hold a 30-11 overall record in 2014. Louisville is 22-6 at Jim Patterson Stadium and has won its last three games. Offensively, Jeff Gardner has been one of the nation’s best hitters, holding a .333 batting average to go along with 14 doubles, four home runs and a conference-best 43 RBIs. On the mound, starters Kyle Funkhouser and Jared Ruxer each hold sub-3.00 ERAs while closer Nick Burdi has yet to surrender an earned run in 20.2 innings of work.

    All-time vs. the Cardinals…  The Cardinals hold a 10-15 edge in the all-time series that dates back to 2006. Louisville swept the regular season series last year in Storrs on May 11-12, but the Huskies exacted revenge in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament, downing the Cardinals, 3-2, in 12 innings. Billy Ferriter played the role of the hero, delivering the go-ahead single in the top of the 12th to score Eric Yavarone and send the Huskies on to the winners’ bracket.

    Joining Good Company… With seven strikeouts against Temple on Saturday, Marzi became the seventh player in UConn history to amass 200 career strikeouts. Currently, the senior LHP ranks second all-time in total innings pitched with 268.1, and has a shot to threaten Greg Nappo’s (2007-11) program record of 311.1. With 14 victories to his name, Marzi needs just one more W to crack into the top-20 at Connecticut.

    Conference Leaders… Melley and Davey have been two of the league’s most prolific hitters this season. The pair checks in at No. 1 and No. 2 in The American in batting average and on-base percentage and are both featured in the top-10 in hits, RBI, slugging percentage and total bases. The sluggers have anchored the middle of Connecticut’s order, accounting for 160 of the Huskies’ 499 total bases (32.1 percent) and 12 of UConn’s 18 round-trippers (66.7 percent).

    National Rankings... Freshman RHP Andrew Zapata ranks third in the nation with 4.41 hits allowed per nine innings. The Staten Island, N.Y. native also holds the lowest WHIP on the Husky squad (1.02) and is 53rd in the country with a 1.65 ERA. At the dish, Melley checks in at No. 10 in the country with his .497 OBP, while Davey follows behind at No. 13 (.494). Melley is also 43rd among all hitters with his .381 average, and UConn as a team is 18th with a 2.62 ERA.

    Following the three-game set at Louisville, UConn returns to New England for a midweek match-up at Holy Cross on Tuesday, April 29 at 5 p.m.