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UConn Baseball Weekend Preview: Seton Hall

The series was supposed to be in Connecticut but was moved to Seton Hall due to the snow last week.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn Baseball played in one of its most evenly matched series of the season last weekend against BYU. The Cougars and Huskies battled to three one-run games, but UConn took only Friday’s contest while BYU got the victory on Thursday and Saturday.

The Cougars have one of the best offenses in the country and it showed, as each UConn starter had arguably his worst outing of the young season. The Husky offense did a decent job of keeping up, as the teams combined to score 47 runs.

The Huskies had lost four of their last five heading into their midweek contests and UConn bounced back with a win against Central Connecticut after their game with Yale was postponed.

Sophomore catcher Zac Susi has been swinging the bat well lately. He has a six-game hitting streak, going 10-for-22 at the plate with three runs with 10 RBI during the streak.

The Seton Hall Pirates (10-8) come into this weekend hot, getting two wins over Manhattan and another against Lehigh at home in the Strike Out Cancer Classic. They had a game scheduled for Wednesday against Lafayette but it was postponed.

Through the first five weekends of 2017, the Pirates have stuck with the same rotation; Zach Prendergast (3-0, 3.72 ERA), Cullen Dana (0-2, 4.05) and Shane McCarthy (1-3, 7.55).

Prendergast, Friday’s probable starter, started last Friday after spending the first three weekends in the Sunday role. He also started in Seton Hall’s win over No. 2 Florida, giving the Pirates six innings and allowing only two runs.

He lives and dies by contact and location, with only 16 strikeouts in 29 innings, allowing four walks.

Dana has gotten the ball in four of Seton Hall’s Saturdays and is slated to get it again in the middle game. He is the power pitcher, with 32 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings. He also has by far the best batting average against, allowing opposing batters to hit .238 against him.

Before Prendergast took over the Friday role, it belonged to McCarthy for the first four weekends of the year. He has a .333 BAA and when he gets hit, it’s usually hard. He has allowed 12 extra-base hits, five of which were home runs. He also has trouble going deep into his outings, averaging just five innings per start. He will be on the mound for Sunday’s game.

Joe Poduslenko is Seton Hall’s biggest offensive threat. He has a slash line of .300 AVG/.463 OBP/.500 SLG and leads the team in home runs, RBI, total bases, walks, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and runs. He is also second in batting average.

UConn and Seton Hall get their series started at Owen T. Carroll Field at 3 p.m. on Friday, followed by a 2 p.m. first pitch on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.