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UConn Baseball Weekend Preview: Huskies Hosting UCF

The Huskies are on a four-game winning streak as they begin a weekend series against the Knights.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn baseball had an interesting week. Due to the weather, both midweek contests, one each against Fairfield and Quinnipiac, were canceled either due to snow or rain. So the Huskies got some rest before they put their season-high four-game winning streak on the line against UCF in their first home series in American Athletic Conference play.

UConn is looking to win the series over the Knights for the third consecutive year, after a sweep in 2016 and a 2-1 record in 2017.

Mason Feole (4-0, 3.10 ERA) won pitcher of the week in the American for his seven-inning performance on Friday. He allowed just three singles and struck out a career-high 13 CCSU Blue Devils.

Catcher Zac Susi (.330 AVG/.385 OBP/.398 SLG) has been leading the way offensively with a seven-game hitting streak and has reached base in his last 15 outings. Catcher Thad Phillips (.351/.439/.491) has worked himself into the catching and designated hitter rotation with the team’s highest batting average and a 10-game reached base streak.

As for the Knights (21-9, 3-3), they left the state of Florida for the first time last weekend when they took two out of three against Memphis as part of the 3-1 stretch they are on when combined with a home win against Stetson on Tuesday.

Rylan Thomas (.426/.500/.696) has been putting on an incredible hitting performance for UCF this season with 36 RBI and eight home runs. He leads qualifiers in all three slash line categories as well as in extra-base hits.

Along with five other regulars that have a batting average above .275, the Knights slash .284/.388/.400, which rank 66th, 47th, and 106th, respectively.

They will be facing the same trio of starters in Tim Cate (3-4, 3.70) on Friday, Feole on Saturday and Chase Gardner (2-0, 3.79) will finish it out. One advantage of the rain-outs is that the Huskies have their full array of bullpen arms available including PJ Poulin and Jake Wallace.

As a staff, they have a .247 BAA and a 3.65 team ERA (61st) to go along with 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings (47th) and 4.5 walks per nine (178th).

UCF starters for the weekend yet to be announced.

On the whole, the Knights have an opposing batting average of .215 with a 3.00 ERA (20th). They strike out 10.5 batters per nine innings (sixth) and allow 3.5 walks per nine innings (51st).

UConn and UCF begin their series at J.O. Christian Field on Friday at 1 p.m., continue it on Saturday at 1 p.m. and complete it on Sunday at 11 a.m. All three games will be on WHUS 91.7 FM.