Huskies start series with Presbyterian
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 14, 2013 23:03
The UConn baseball team begins a three-game series with the Presbyterian Blue Hose today at 3 p.m. The middle game of the series will be played at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C., home of the Boston Red Sox’ Single-A Greenville Drive.
The Huskies have won eight of out its last nine games to earn a 9-4 overall record. UConn received votes in the NCBWA Top 30 for the second consecutive week, but they have not been ranked since the end of the 2011 season, when the Huskies advanced all the way to the Super Regionals.
Last time out, UConn beat in-state foe Central Connecticut State 8-5 thanks to clutch performances out of a pair of rookies. Freshman third baseman Vinny Siena went a career-high 5-for-5 with 3 RBIs and a couple of stolen bases. Siena is hitting .371 with 11 RBI and has fit nicely as the cleanup hitter so far this season.
Freshman left-hander Christian Colletti did not allow a base runner in 3.1 perfect innings. He also struck out five and earned his first career win.
Senior second baseman LJ Mazzilli is tearing the cover off the ball early this season, to nobody’s surprise. The 2012 MLB draft pick came back for his senior season and is leading the team with a .411 batting average, 11 RBIs, 14 runs scored and nine extra-base hits. He is currently riding a seven-game hitting streak.
On the hill for the Huskies this weekend will be lefty Anthony Marzi, who has suffered two losses and has a 5.59 ERA. Righty Carson Cross is set to get the ball in the second game. He has been the UConn ace this year posting a 3-0 record, 1.37 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 26.1 innings. The sophomore has not allowed a run in his last 20.1 innings pitched. Brian Ward (1-1, 3.20 ERA) will pitch the finale.
In Wednesday’s three-run win over CCSU, UConn stole a season-high six stolen bases. UConn’s 36 stolen bases rank them in the top 20 nationally. Shortstop Tom Verdi leads the team with eight thefts.
Presbyterian (11-7) has won three of its last four games including a 3-1 extra-inning victory over Wofford on March 13. Outfielders Aaron Preston and Brandon Paul both have identical .324 batting averages, .412 slugging percentages and six doubles apiece. Preston has struck out a team-high 19 times in 18 games. The Blue Hose are batting .251 and have a 3.03 team ERA. Left-hander Beau Dees, right-handers Bud Jeter and Chandler Knox have combined for a 6-2 record and three complete games.
Tonight’s game will mark the first ever meeting between UConn and Presbyterian.
After Sunday afternoon’s finale, the Huskies will stay in South Carolina to face the College of Charleston. UConn will then return home to host rival Georgetown in the Big East and home opener on March 22.
The games this weekend can be heard on WHUS 91.7 FM.