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GREENVILLE, N.C. -- The UConn baseball team (28-18) is back on the road this weekend for a three-game set at American Athletic Conference rival East Carolina (29-17). This weekend marks the second series between the Huskies and Pirates this year, with UConn looking to avenge a series victory for ECU in mid-April in Storrs. First pitch on Friday is set for 6:30 p.m. before a 4 p.m. start on Saturday and a 1 p.m. series finale on Sunday.
The Huskies take a 23-11 record in road/neutral site games with them to ECU's Clark-LeClair Stadium, currently leading the nation in road/neutral victories. UConn is 4-2 in road conference games this year, winning series at Tulane in March and at No. 12 UCF early in April. The Huskies are 5-26 all-time against the Pirates, with all but the three meetings this season coming at ECU in nine seasons between 1979-1989.
UConn is currently tops in The American with a 2.68 ERA, led by the starting pitching duo of Carson Cross (Brentwood, N.H.) and Anthony Kay (Stony Brook, N.Y.). Cross is 8-2 with a 1.85 ERA and 91 strikeouts on the year, ninth in the nation in punch-outs. Kay is first in The American and 16th nationally with a 1.50 ERA, placing top-20 in the country with a 0.88 WHIP. Sunday starter Jordan Tabakman (Pompton Plains, N.J.) is coming off six shutout innings in his last start and holds a 3.64 ERA, while closer Patrick Ruotolo (Peabody, Mass.) strikes out 12.77 batters per nine innings and holds a .138 batting average against.
At the plate, Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.) leads UConn with a .364 average and is fifth in the country with 75 hits. Siena is also UConn's leader and is second in the conference with 48 runs scored and 43 RBIs. Willy Yahn (Sharon, Conn.) is batting .342 behind Siena and Max McDowell (North Huntingdon, Pa.) checks in at .309 with seven home runs, tied with Joe DeRoche-Duffin (Santa Ana, Calif.) for the team lead. Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.) leads the Huskies from the leadoff spot with a .418 on-base percentage and 28 stolen bases, checking in at seventh in the country in swipes.
East Carolina enters the weekend with a 29-17 record under first-year skipper Cliff Godwin, including a 21-11 mark at home and a 9-6 record in conference play. The Pirates are second in The American with a .289 batting average and third in the league with a 2.98 ERA. Kirk Morgan leads ECU with a .363 batting average, while Luke Lowery is hitting .347 and leads the team with nine home runs and 40 RBIs.
Two-way player Reid Love is batting .325 and pitches to a 2.70 ERA in 56.2 innings with a sterling 51:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In front of Love on the mound is Evan Kruczysnki, who is 6-2 with a 2.65 ERA and a team-high 52 strikeouts in 71.1 innings. Joe Ingle (0.93 ERA) and Nick Durazo (1.74) are top bullpen arms for the Pirates.
Following the ECU series, UConn closes its home slate with a three-game set against Cincinnati, playing a doubleheader on May 9 before Senior Day on May 10.