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UConn baseball looks to rebound vs. Bryant

By Matt Stypulkoski
On April 24, 2012

The UConn baseball team will look to regroup from its blowout loss to Rutgers this past Saturday against Bryant on Tuesday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field.

The Huskies took both games of a doubleheader from the Scarlet Knights Friday, but Saturday afternoon at Dodd Stadium it was a different story. The pitching for UConn struggled mightily in the game and received no help behind them in the field or from hitters at the plate as they fell 15-0.

Against Bryant, coach Jim Penders knows things will have to go much differently in order to come out with a win.

"They're not going to be in awe of us for sure, nor should they be," Penders said. "I think we have to come out and we've got to throw strikes first of all and [possible starters Pat Butler or Jared Dettmann] has to establish that right off the bat. I think we'll be able to get our bats going in time but they're going to compete, they're not going to make a lot of mistakes."

As of Saturday, Penders was unsure of which of his two pitchers-Butler or Dettmann-would make the start for the Huskies, but did say that the Bulldogs may see a number of different pitchers take the mound throughout the game. Penders also said that Ryan Fuller-who played third base last season has spent most of this year playing at first for UConn-may see some time at third base on Tuesday, as the Huskies look for an answer at that position. Freshman Jon Testani has held the position as of late, but is not a natural third baseman and has struggled in the field as a result. Sophomore Mike Friel saw some time at third against Rutgers over the weekend, but has not swung the bat particularly well this season, hitting at just a .206 clip. Fuller has swung the bat well of late, and earned a spot on the Big East Honor Roll after hitting three home runs last week.

This is Bryant's final year of a transition process to Division I competition. The Bulldogs-who play in the NEC-are postseason ineligible this season as they have been for the past several years during the transition period.

Despite being new to the Division I landscape, Bryant has had quite a bit of success early on, including an NEC regular season championship in 2010. This season, the Bulldogs are 17-3 in the conference and 25-15 overall, and are currently riding a five-game winning streak including a four-game sweep of Quinnipiac this past weekend.

The Huskies are 23-17 on the year heading into the matchup, including an 11-4 record in the Big East, which puts them in a tie for first place in the conference. They have won four of their last five heading into today's game. 

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