Baseball: UConn plays first road series of the season
Published: Thursday, February 27, 2014
Updated: Thursday, February 27, 2014 23:02
The UConn baseball team (3-3) will ride its three-game winning streak into Nashville, Tenn., where they will take on the Lipscomb University (1-7) in their first road-series of the season.
UConn has been without Tom Verdi, their senior captain, for the first six games of the season due to a wrist injury and that will not change heading into the weekend series against the Bisons. Verdi made an appearance last weekend as a pinch runner and eventually scored the game-winning run against Wichita State but head coach Jim Penders said that is all Verdi can be used for right now.
Aaron Hill, a freshman from Groton, Conn., has stepped in for Verdi in his absence.
“It’s unfair what were asking Aaron to do as a freshman, to come in and start at shortstop but we don’t really have a choice,” Penders said. “He’s done a good job, he can be better just like a lot of our guys could be better. He’s giving us some good at-bats, he’s seeing a lot of pitches and doing a good job in the nine-hole.”
After struggling to find their offense at the Snowbird Classic in the first weekend of the season, the Huskies bounced back nicely last week at the Caravelle Resort’s Baseball at the Beach Tournament, scoring 19 runs in three games.
“I think the first weekend taught us that it is never as bad as you think it is but this weekend should teach us that you’re never as good as you think you are either,” Penders said. “As long as our work continues to progress like it did last week, I think the guys should feel good about themselves and continue that progress.”
For UConn to be successful this weekend, they will have to continue to swing the bats well because Lipscomb has the ability to score runs despite their losing record. The Bisons have tallied more than six runs in four of their first eight games.
“We have to limit our walks,” Penders said. “We cannot give them free bases and expect that offense not to score. They’re going to drive in runs if we give them freebees.”
As for the pitchers, Jordan Tabakman, Anthony Marzi and Brian Ward have all started twice this season for the Huskies and Penders has no plans of changing the rotation this weekend.
“They all deserve to be back out there,” Penders said.
With their record back to .500, the Huskies are back where they want to be after losing their first three games and will look to carry over their momentum last weekend to their matchup against Lipscomb.