clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UConn Baseball Weekend Preview: Cincinnati

The Huskies get a chance to right the ship in conference play against the Bearcats.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn Baseball started off 6-0 in conference play after a pair of weekend sweeps. The Huskies got the better of East Carolina on the road and in their first home games of 2017, swept Memphis.

However in the six conference games since April 9th’s 4-0 shutout victory over the Tigers, UConn is 1-5 after being swept in uptown New Orleans at the hands of Tulane and UCF took two of three in Orlando last weekend.

With the completion of last weekend’s three-game sets, the American Athletic Conference is halfway through conference play with four weekends to go. Here’s what the standings look like after the first half of the season.

American Athletic Conference Baseball Standings

Team Record Games Back RPI (NCAA- 4/27) Remaining Series
Team Record Games Back RPI (NCAA- 4/27) Remaining Series
Houston 8-4 --- 31 @USF, UConn, @Tulane, Cincy
Tulane 8-4 --- 78 @ECU, USF, Houston, @Memphis
USF 7-5 1 29 Houston, ECU, @UConn, @UCF
UCF 7-5 1 30 Memphis, @Tulane, @Cincy, @USF
UConn 7-5 1 45 Cincy, @Houston, USF, ECU
Cincinnati 5-7 3 108 @UConn, @Memphis, UCF, @Houston
Memphis 4-8 4 96 @UCF, Cincy, @ECU, Tulane
East Carolina 2-10 6 83 Tulane, @USF, Memphis, @UConn

This weekend, UConn will host the Cincinnati Bearcats (20-20, 5-7), best known for having MLB legend Sandy Koufax on their roster in 1954.

Cincinnati won two out of three against USF two weekends ago. Since then, the Bearcats are 2-4 with a win each against East Carolina and Wright State.

Cincinnati has not played since last weekend in a series where they took Friday’s opener handily before East Carolina broke out of their 10-game conference funk and beat UC twice.

UConn’s strength is its pitching, behind the starting trio of Tim Cate, Wills Montgomerie and Mason Feole. This does not bode well for the Bearcats, whose biggest weakness is their offense. They rank 270th out of 295 full Division I members in batting average (.245) and they are No. 236 in slugging percentage.

They only have one starter hitting above .300 in AJ Bumpass, five are hitting below .250, two below .200.

Cincinnati does have a better pitching staff, as they possess a 1.37 WHIP, good for 73rd-best in the nation and a 99th-best 4.37 ERA. They also have the eighth-best fielding percentage in the country at .982.

UConn needs this series and should get three wins at home against one of the conference’s worst teams. The Huskies really can’t afford to leave opportunities like this on the table after three losses to Tulane and another two to USF if they want to have a good regular season finish in the conference.

UConn and Cincinnati get their series at J.O. Christian Field started on Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. with Tim Cate on the mound. Saturday and Sunday will see 1 p.m. and 12 p.m. first pitches with Wills Montgomerie and Mason Feole on the mound.