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UConn Baseball in Summer League

The Huskies are hard at work this summer as they prepare for next season.

UConn baseball had one of its most successful seasons of the Jim Penders era in 2016. The Huskies got back to the NCAA Tournament after a two season absence and almost beat the first overall seed in the nation in that tournament, taking a tie game into the 8th before losing by one run.

The 2017 Huskies have a good foundation to build on. They may have lost Jack Sundberg, Joe DeRoche-Duffin, Anthony Kay, Pat Ruotolo and Bryan Daniello to the draft and graduation, but many big pieces will return.

Of the Huskies returning for 2017, 13 are playing summer baseball in the Northeast. Four are in the Cape Cod League, two in the Futures League, and eight are in the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL), including three for the Mystic Schooners. Tim Cate is also playing on the USA Collegiate National Team this summer.

The Cape Cod League is regarded as one of the most prestigious summer leagues in the country. Four returning Huskies are playing against the best college competition in the country. Willy Yahn and Ronnie Rossomando are on the Bourne Braves, Wills Montgomerie is on the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, and Alex LeFevre is on the Chatham Anglers.

“[Playing in the Cape League] is definitely going to help,” Yahn said after a game earlier this month in Bourne. “We’re getting a lot of quality at-bats and pitchers are getting quality innings.”

Yahn is not just getting quality at-bats, he is excelling in them. As of July 19, he is 10th in the Cape League in hits and has improved on his walk totals. After walking nine times in 239 at-bats in the regular season for UConn, he has already equaled that total in 126 at-bats in the Cape League. He was named a reserve on the West Division All-Star Team, as well.

In addition to the returners, two newcomers to the program are playing in the Futures League. Jacob Wallace, a pitcher from Methuen, Massachusetts, is playing for Bristol and Conor Moriarty, a freshman infielder from West Springfield, Massachusetts is playing for Pittsfield.

“I’ve seen pretty much the whole campus, I love it, it’s beautiful,” Wallace said of his new home in Storrs.

“I love the coaches, I’m going to love it there for the next four years.”

Wallace describes himself as a pitcher who pitches with movement, not someone that will blow batters away with velocity.

“I go for more movement than actual speed. I don’t try to blow it by guys, but I can if I have to,” he said. “I really rely on my infielders, if they’re on, that’s all I need.”

In addition to Yahn, Dan Rajkowski was a Futures League All-Star. Sam Nepiarsky and Aaron Hill were named NECBL All-Stars.