Fresh off a strong finish to the season that led to the Huskies winning the Big East regular season title and the No. 1 seed in this weekend’s conference tournament, UConn made their presence felt in the Big East’s regular season awards.
Outfielder Kyler Fedko was unanimously named Big East Player of the Year after a monster sophomore season, living up to the hype after being named the conference’s preseason Player of the Year this winter. Fedko hit .402 on the season with 11 home runs and a .692 slugging percentage, becoming the first Husky to hit over .400 since Mike Scott did so in 2001. In Big East play, Fedko was even better, leading the conference with a .444 average, .550 on base percentage and .778 slugging percentage to help lead UConn to the regular season title.
Fellow outfielders Chris Winkel and Erik Stock joined Fedko on the All-Big East First Team. Stock and Winkel finished second and third behind Fedko in average for the Huskies, hitting .333 and .318 respectively. Winkel also served as one of the Huskies’ primary power sources this season, tying Fedko and two others with a team-best 11 home runs and swiped a team-high 14 bases on 15 attempts, all while handling a position change after spending the 2019 season manning first base.
Stock finished second to Fedko in on base percentage amongst starters at .417 and added four home runs and eight steals. Left-handed relief ace Caleb Wurster joined the Huskies outfield on the All-Big East First Team after striking out 45 batters in just over 33 innings. Wurster finished the season with seven saves and a 1.89 ERA in 21 appearances.
The Huskies also had four players round out the All-Big East Second Team, with Ben Casparius, Austin Peterson, Reggie Crawford and Pat Winkel all earning nods.
Casparius shined in his first season with the Huskies, striking out a team-high 110 batters in 81 innings and going 7-4 with a 3.33 ERA. His rotation mate Peterson went 6-1 on the season with a 2.75 ERA and finished behind Casparius with 69 strikeouts on the season.
Pat Winkel hit 11 home runs like his brother Chris, and hit .290 while starting all 46 games this season for the Huskies behind the dish at catcher. He also led the team in doubles with 13 and finished second to Fedko in total bases with 99.
Crawford was another source of prodigious power in the Huskies’ high octane offense, hitting 11 home runs and leading the team with 55 runs batted in. The freshman also got the job done on the mound, punching out 17 batters in just 7.2 innings, walking only three and posting a 2.35 ERA.
Lastly, head coach Jim Penders and the Huskies’ coaching staff were named the conference’s coaching staff of the year, the first time UConn has won a coaching honor since 2016. The Huskies finished the season 30-16, making it the 14th time Penders and crew have won 30 or more games in the coach’s 17 seasons as head coach.
The Huskies begin Big East Conference Tournament play against Xavier at 6:30 p.m. ET on Thursday. While UConn may be able to get into the NCAA tournament as an at-large after their strong finish to the regular season, the Huskies’ could still use a few wins (or a conference title) to boost their chances.