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UConn Baseball Weekend Preview: Huskies visiting North Florida

The Huskies are playing their final set of games in Jacksonville before their home opener.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Over the weekend, UConn baseball took two games out of three from Southeastern Louisiana, including a doubleheader sweep on Saturday.

Zac Susi was named American Athletic Conference player of the week, slashing .429 AVG/.429 OBP/.500 SLG. The junior catcher is on a five-game hitting streak, tied for the active lead on the Huskies with freshman infielder Christian Fedko (.375/.444/.625), who has four doubles on the young season, and left fielder John Toppa (.269/.387/.423).

Shortstop Anthony Prato (.370/.414/.556) had a hit in each game last weekend and on Sunday was a home run short of the cycle.

The Huskies look to continue their winning ways on the road this weekend when they travel to Jacksonville, Florida to face North Florida at Harmon Stadium.

The Ospreys took two of three from Southern Illinois over the weekend but in their home-and-home series this week with No. 1 Florida, the Gators emerged with a sweep.

Offensively, UNF is led by Wesley Weeks (.378/.395/.459) and Raff Libuano (.357/.419/.536) as the best pure hitters, while on the back of five extra-base hits, Tanner Murphy (.270/.325/.568) leads in slugging percentage and is the team’s best power hitter.

Other than Mac Wilson (.286/.464/.381), no other regular has a batting average higher than .235 and as a team they slash .238/.299/.344. Their batting average is is 188th in the country out of 293 teams who have played a game, while on base percentage (258th) and slugging percentage (176th) are not much better.

As such, North Florida struggles to score, getting 4.7 runs per game.

Tim Cate (0-2, 5.06 ERA) and Brad Depperman (0-0, 6.00) will be the starting pitchers on Friday, while Mason Feole (1-0, 4.09) takes on Ethan Michaelis on Saturday. In the finale, Chase Gardner (1-0, 7.71) gets the ball against a starter to be announced.

Depperman lasted just three innings in his opening day start against Radford, but pitched very well in his most recent outing against Southern Illinois, allowing one run on five hits. He struck out six and walked one. He relies on the fly ball, getting just three ground ball outs against Southern Illinois.

Like his counterpart on Friday night, Michaelis had a rough start on opening weekend, pitching three innings, but came back with a quality start against the Salukis, giving up two runs on six hits. However, he is an efficient pitcher who gives up a lot of ground balls.

Adam Polansky (0-0, 2.79) got the nod on both Sundays this year.

As a staff, the Ospreys allow hitters to bat .287 against them and strike out 8.2 batters per nine innings (162nd in NCAA) compared to 3.4 walks per nine innings. They will be facing a Husky offense that slashes .286/.355/.463, good for 68th, 132nd and 40th in the nation, respectively. The Huskies score 6.2 runs per game.

UConn (4-2) and North Florida (3-6) start their series on Friday at 6:05 p.m. in a game which will be streamed on Facebook, with Saturday’s game on ESPN3 at 2:05 p.m. The series finale is on Sunday at 12:05 p.m., and will also be available to watch on Facebook.