April 28, 2014
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AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Connecticut baseball team will look to get back on track with a pair of midweek games at UMass and Holy Cross after being swept in a three-game series against No. 12 Louisville over the weekend. The Huskies are set to travel to Amherst, Mass. on Tuesday, April 29 to take on the Minutemen at 3 p.m., before heading to Worcester, Mass. to challenge the Crusaders on Wednesday, April 30 at 5 p.m.
UMass and UConn will square off for the 161st time in a series that dates back to 1900. Last season, UConn played host to the Minutemen and escaped with a 5-4 victory, taking advantage of a four-run seventh inning. The Huskies hold an 87-70-3 edge in the all-time series and are winners of the last 10 matchups.
Freshman RHP Andrew Zapata (Staten Island, N.Y.) will take the ball for the Huskies, looking for his fourth win of the year. The hurler has been excellent in his freshman campaign, checking in with the third lowest ERA on the team (1.65), while holding a team-best 1.02 WHIP.
UMass holds a 9-26 record this season, but is 4-4 at home. Nik Campero is the lone Minutemen player to hold a batting average over .300 and also checks in with a team-best .372 OBP. As a staff, UMass owns a 4.90 ERA with 173 strikeouts in 303.0 innings of work.
On Wednesday, UConn will look to continue its recent string of success against Holy Cross (13-31) when it travels to Fitton Field for a non-conference contest. The Huskies hold a 20-0-2 record against their New England rivals since 1984 and a 42-19-2 all-time series record.
Senior lefty Brian Ward (Milford, Conn.) will earn the nod after being named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll for the week of April 27. Ward led the Huskies to a midweek victory with his first career complete game against Central Connecticut, surrendering just one run and striking out six.
The Crusader offense is paced by Evan Ocello, who has recorded a .329 batting average and team-best 80 total bases. On the bump, Holy Cross sports a 4.89 ERA with 244 punch-outs in 359.0 innings.