Thursday, May 20, 6 p.m.
Friday, May 21, doubleheader starting at 12 p.m.
Saturday, May 22, 1 p.m.
Where: Elliot Ballpark, Storrs, Connecticut
Radio: FM 91.7 WHUS
Thursday: RHP Austin Peterson (6-1, 2.70 ERA) vs. RHP Ryan McLinskey (4-1, 2.59 ERA)
Friday (Game one): RHP Ben Casparius (6-4, 3.48 ERA) vs. RHP David Festa (6-2, 1.61 ERA)
Friday (Game two): RHP Pat Gallagher (4-1, 4.46 ERA) vs. LHP Joe Cinnella (3-2, 2.94 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Joe Simeone (1-3, 6.32 ERA) vs. LHP Tyler Burnham (3-4, 3.26 ERA)
UConn baseball will welcome Seton Hall to Storrs this weekend for a four-game series against the team directly above them in the conference standings. Depending on the Huskies record at the end of it, they could either clinch the regular season title or finish as low as fourth. We broke down all the possible scenarios here.
It will be the series with the highest stakes of UConn’s season, and if that’s not enough, there’s one more wrinkle: Elliot Ballpark will be open to the public for the first time in its history this weekend, and the house is sure to be packed. How’s that for drama?
The Huskies’ offense had been slow to wake up before the midweek game against Rhode Island only a few weeks removed from a COVID-19 stoppage that saw the team cancel two consecutive conference series.
Erik Stock’s bat was the big beneficiary of these past two weekends; the junior transfer has hit .419 since the beginning of the St. John’s series and now sits second on the team in batting average and on-base percentage, just behind Kyler Fedko in both categories.
The younger Fedko brother can be comfortably named as the Huskies’ MVP so far the season, leading the team in batting average (.400), slugging percentage (.658%), and on-base percentage (.481). He has eight home runs, good for second on the team behind slugging first baseman Reggie Crawford, and is tied for the lead in doubles with his brother Christian.
On the pitching side of things, junior college transfer Austin Peterson’s dream season has continued in the latter half of the year, supplanting Ben Casparius as weekend starter for the past two weeks. He leads all starters with a 2.70 ERA, and is 6-1 in 11 starts. Peterson isn’t necessarily a strikeout pitcher, but he’s able to limit the free passes and initiate a lot of weak contact. Casparius hasn’t been too far behind him this season with a 3.48 ERA, leading the team with 103 strikeouts. Freshman Pat Gallagher has emerged as a rock solid member of the weekend rotation, with a 4.48 ERA and a 4-1 record in seven starts.
UConn will face off against a Seton Hall team that has been absolutely lights-out in conference play. The Pirates are 23-19 overall but 16-7 in conference and haven’t lost a Big East series this year.
Pitching has been a strength all season and it all stems from a tremendous veteran starting staff. Lanky right-hander David Festa leads the team with a 1.64 ERA, and is second in the conference (behind Peterson) with six wins, winning Big East pitcher of the week last week.
Seton Hall is third in the conference in runs scored and batting average, and put together shrewd at-bats as a whole, coming in second in the conference in walks and third in on-base percentage.
Seton Hall’s top of the lineup has been dangerous overall, with five players batting over .300 on the year. Redshirt freshman Will Gale leads the team in batting average with .327, while veteran outfielder Casey Dana leads the team in home runs and slugging percentage.
Game one will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday night.