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American Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament Preview

The Huskies are in Florida for the start of the postseason.

Ian Bethune for The UConn Blog

UConn Baseball wrapped up its season last weekend with wins in two of three games against East Carolina, including Thursday’s joyful experience at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

With the series win over East Carolina, UConn finished tied with USF for third place in the AAC standings and due to their series win over the Bulls, the Huskies will be the three-seed in the conference tournament in Clearwater, Florida.

UConn is 7-3 in their last 10 games with an RPI in the top 40 and trending upward. Only Houston, also at 7-3, can match UConn’s record over their last 10 contests.

The American is a deep league, with four teams owning a top-50 RPI ranking and three more in the top-100. Any win the Huskies get during the tournament will help their quest for a Regional bid.

UConn gets the No. 6 Cincinnati Bearcats (28-28, 10-14) for its opening game of the tournament.

The Huskies and Bearcats played April 28-30, with UConn taking two of three. Friday’s contest had a controversial end in a UConn loss but the Huskies overcame bullpen struggles to win on both Saturday and Sunday to earn the series win.

Cincinnati is 2-5 in its last seven games but had won four straight prior to that, getting a win each over Xavier and East Carolina with two against Memphis.

In the second game of the double-elimination tournament, UConn will play whoever matches its result between the No. 2 Houston Cougars (36-19, 15-9) and No. 7 Memphis Tigers (29-27, 8-16), who play on Tuesday at 9 a.m.

The Cougars hosted the Huskies from May 5-7 and UConn came away with just one win in three games. Friday’s game saw the Huskies come back from 5-0 but squander the game in extra innings, while Houston dominated from wire-to-wire in a 9-1 win Saturday. The series finale was a UConn win after a late-inning comeback.

Houston has won of eight of its last 11 but had lost four of the five before that, including two losses to Sam Houston State.

As for Memphis, the Huskies swept them as part of their 6-0 start to conference play. UConn won the three games in a variety of ways.

Friday saw the offense support a strong outing from Tim Cate. Saturday’s was won by the bullpen, with seven hitless innings to its credit and Sunday belonged to Mason Feole, who delivered an eight-inning shutout performance.

The Tigers are 4-6 in their last 10 games and won only one conference series all year, on the road against Cincinnati, winning two out of three.

Should the Huskies make the final, they will play one of No. 1 UCF (38-18, 15-9), No. 4 USF (40-15, 14-10), No. 5 Tulane (27-29, 13-11) or No. 8 East Carolina (29-27, 7-17).

UConn and Cincinnati play on Tuesday at 12 p.m.