Just one day after wrapping up their eight-game spring break road trip, the UConn baseball team returns to action with a midweek matchup against in-state rival Yale. The game will be played at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York due to poor field conditions at Yale Field.
The Huskies managed to win six of their eight games over spring break, outscoring their opponents by a score of 43-18 and bringing their overall record to 13-8. Vinny Sienna has served as a catalyst in UConn’s offensive explosion, ranking 10th in the American Athletic Conference and leading the Huskies with a .370 batting average. Sienna also leads the team with seven doubles and a .522 slugging percentage. Jack Sundberg and Max McDowell are the only other Huskies starters hitting north of .300, batting .305 and .301 respectively.
UConn also continued their dominant pitching performance over the break, led by senior ace Carson Cross. Cross was named the American pitcher of the week for the second time this season after tossing 8.2 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and one walk in UConn’s 1-0 win over Seton Hall Saturday afternoon. The team’s 2.54 ERA and 180 strikeouts rank third in the American, and lead the conference with a .210 batting average against.
Sophomore Andrew Zapata will take the hill against the Bulldogs, making his third midweek start of the season. In his last start, the right-hander tossed five innings, giving up two runs and striking out four. Zapata currently owns a 8.71 ERA in 10.1 innings pitched so far in 2015.
Zapata will need to be at his best in order to handle a balanced and skilled Yale lineup. The Elis currently boast a 6-4 record, hitting .294 as a team and scoring a combined 31 runs in their last two games, Eric Hsieh leads Yale with a .541 batting average and a .622 slugging percentage in 37 at bats, and went 5-5 with three RBI in the Bulldogs’ 23-8 victory over Hartford on St. Patrick’s Day.
Yale’s pitching staff has a team ERA of 8.49, largely due to allowing 30 runs in their season-opening loss to Richmond and 23 runs the next day against Davidson. UConn put up similarly gaudy numbers in their matchup against the Elis last season, defeating the Bulldogs by a score of 14-1.
The matchup will be 63rd game all-time between Yale and UConn, with the Huskies holding a 40-21-1 advantage in the series since it began in 1943. First pitch is at 3:30 p.m.