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Preview: UConn baseball takes on No. 20 Wichita State

The Huskies and Shockers match up for the first time in American Athletic Conference play.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn baseball tied for the first time since May 15, 2012 on Wednesday against Bryant after they took two of three games from UCF over the weekend.

The Huskies are 5-1-1 in their last seven games behind strong offensive performances from Anthony Prato (.294 AVG/.353 OBP/,387 SLG), who has a four-game hitting streak. Zac Susi (.324/.410/.392) has reached base in 19 consecutive contests, while Christian Fedko (.267/.343/.337) and Isaac Feldstein (.249/.349/.556) each have reached in their last 11 games.

That trio looks to lead UConn on the road against No. 20 Wichita State this weekend and win the Huskies’ fourth-consecutive series.

The two teams have played just once before on Feb. 21, 2014 at Coastal Carolina’s Baseball at the Beach tournament. The Huskies won 2-1 in 10 innings.

The Shockers (23-7, 3-3) are 4-1 in their last five games, including rebounding from a mercy-rule shortened 19-4 drubbing by Tulane to win the series.

Alec Bohm (.348/.464/.643) is one of six regulars that have a batting average over .275 and is fifth in the American Athletic Conference in slugging percentage, just ahead of sixth-place Gunnar Troutwine (.333/.420/.598).

The two lead one of the best offenses in The American with a team slash line of .290/.385/.455, which is 43rd, 52nd and 22nd nationally.

Mason Feole (4-0, 2.96 ERA) will pitch in Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader, followed by Chase Gardner (3-0, 3.02) in Game 2. Sunday’s starter is to be announced. Tim Cate will not be pitching this weekend after missing last weekend’s start due to forearm tightness.

The UConn pitching staff that has allows opposing hitters to bat .254 against them, giving them a 3.87 team ERA (77th). The Huskies strike out 9.0 batters per nine innings (54th) and walk 4.7 batters per nine innings (214th).

The Huskies will be facing Codi Heuer (5-1, 4.91) in the first game on Friday with Liam Eddy (6-1, 1.94) in the nightcap. On Sunday, Tommy Barnhouse (3-2, 2.70) will be on the hill.

Wichita State’s staff owns a .219 BAA with a 3.63 team ERA, good for 55th in Division I. They strike out 9.8 batters per nine innings (18th) and walk 3.6 per nine innings (60th).

It’s not just their starters that are strong, either. The bullpen is led by closer Chandler Sanburn (0-1, 3.00), owner of a .129 BAA and 37 strikeouts in just 21 innings of work.

UConn and Wichita State play a doubleheader on Friday beginning at 4 p.m. EDT and finish their series at 2 p.m. on Sunday. All three games will be on 91.7 WHUS FM.