STORRS, Conn. – Four UConn baseball standouts, Aaron Hill, Willy Yahn, CJ Dandeneau and Jack Riley, have each earned all-star game nods in their respective summer leagues, highlighting another successful offseason for the Husky program. In addition to the squad’s four all-star players, several other UConn student-athletes have enjoyed success on the diamond during the summer months.
Hill (Groton, Conn.) picked up his second-straight New England Collegiate Baseball League all-star honor as a member of the Mystic Schooners after racking up 34 hits, 12 steals and 12 RBI in 28 games. A 2014 NECBL Second Team member, Hill currently ranks in the top-30 among all league members in runs, walks and OBP. As a sophomore in 2015, the Husky shortstop held a .362 OBP, scoring 24 runs in 38 contests.
Yahn (Sharon, Conn.), a rising sophomore, grabbed all-star honors in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League after slashing .258/.315/.341 for the Newark Pilots in his first 34 contests. The infielder is tied for seventh in the league with nine doubles and has recorded at least one hit in eight of his last 10 games. Additionally, he is one of 19 players in the league to amass at least 18 RBI.
Dandeneau (North Smithfield, R.I.) earns his first collegiate all-star nod as a member of the Brockton Rox in the Futures League. The right-hander has appeared in eight games, including seven starts, and has compiled a 1-1 record with a stellar 1.40 ERA in 32 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting just .242 off the Husky hurler and have scored just three earned runs in his last 28.0 innings of work. Dandeneau’s win came on June 18 when he fired five innings of shutout ball with three strikeouts against the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs.
Riley, one of six UConn players competing in the Northwoods League, has compiled a 4-1 record with a 1.89 ERA and a .236 BAA for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters. He picked up a win on Saturday with a six-inning shutout performance against the La Crosse Loggers.
Rising junior southpaw Anthony Kay (Stony Brook, N.Y.) has enjoyed a busy summer that has included stops with the Wareham Gatemen of the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League and the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. Kay appeared in four games with one start for Team USA, allowing just two earned runs in 9.1 innings. The 2015 American Athletic Conference First Team member held opponents to a .206 average and notched 13 strikeouts during his stay with the squad. In the team’s finale vs. the U.S. Pan American Men’s Baseball Team on July 8, he recorded a pair of strikeouts in a clean inning of work against AA and AAA veterans.
Three other Huskies, Griffin Garabedian, Trevor Holmes and Alex LeFevre joined Dandeneau in the Futures league. Garabedian has seen playing time in 29 games for the Bristol Blues, notching 15 hits and scoring 12 runs. Holmes has appeared out of the bullpen 13 times for the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks, recording 26 strikeouts in 26 innings en route to a 3.80 ERA and .220 BAA. LeFevre sports a healthy .300 batting average in 24 games for the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs, including three home runs and 11 RBI.
Sam Nepiarsky and Joe Rivera have competed with Hill on the Schooner’s squad, helping the team to a 19-14 overall record. Nepiarsky holds a 2-2 mark in six starts with a 2.75 ERA and a 1.04 WHP, while Rivera has served as a reliever in seven games, striking out eight in 12.2 innings.
Ryan Radue, Callahan Brown, Jack Sundberg, Andrew Zapata and Joe DeRoche-Duffin round out the remaining Huskies in the Northwoods League. Radue boasts an unblemished 5-0 record for the Green Bay Bullfrogs, holding opponents to a .219 batting average, while DeRoche-Duffin is tops on the Rochester Honkers and fourth in the league with nine long balls. The Husky mainstay also checks in at No. 6 in the league with a .500 slugging percentage. Brown, Sundberg and Zapata have reunited on the Kenosha Kingfish roster, helping the team to a 35-18 mark.
Taylor Olmstead has been a consistent force at the plate for the Utica Brewers of the PGCBL, slashing .228/.305/.491 with a team-high six home runs and 20 RBI in 35 games. William Montgomerie is the team’s lone representative in the Valley Baseball League, pitching for the Waynesboro Generals. In three starts, the righty has tallied 21 strikeouts in 18.0 innings with a 2.50 ERA.
Fans can keep up with the Huskies during the offseason by following @UConnBaseball on Twitter. Check back with uconnhuskies.com for continued summer league and professional updates.
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