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Preview: UConn hosts Xavier in final home series of the season

The Huskies need just two wins to clinch the Big East regular-season crown.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn baseball will take on Xavier with a chance to clinch the Big East regular-season title this weekend in a three-game series at Elliot Ballpark in Storrs, Connecticut.

UConn is four games up on Creighton with six games left in Big East play, so their magic number to clinch the conference title is two — The Huskies need just two wins, two losses from Creighton or a win from them and a loss from Creighton to win the championship.

The weather should be fantastic, and even coming off a midweek loss vs. Northeastern, the hype will be high and the stands will be packed for the Huskies’ final games of the year.


When:

Friday, 7:02 p.m.

Saturday, 1:05 p.m.

Sunday, 12:05 p.m.

Where: Elliot Ballpark, Storrs, CT

TV: FloSports

Radio: Mixlr

Warren Nolan RPI

No. 39 UConn vs. No. 69 Xavier

Projected Starters:

RHP Austin Peterson (9-0, 2.66 ERA)

RHP Pat Gallagher (7-3, 3.00 ERA)

RHP Enzo Stefanoni (6-1, 2.74 ERA)


What to Watch For

  • Although they don’t have as gaudy of a record in conference play as Creighton, Xavier is still a quality team. They’re the second-highest team in RPI in the conference thanks to a tough non-conference schedule that included games against Alabama, Oregon State, and Coastal Carolina.
  • Outfielder Luke Franzoni is the engine behind so much of Xavier’s success. He leads the conference in home runs (21), RBI (55), and slugging percentage, hitting .365/.793/.491 on the year. The 6-2 senior accounts for over a quarter of the team’s total walks and home runs, single-handedly dragging them to multiple wins on the year.
  • How will the Huskies respond after getting “punched in the mouth” — head coach Jim Penders’ words, not mine — on Tuesday against Northeastern? After the other Huskies scored six runs in the fourth inning, UConn’s offense seemed to disappear. But it’s a new day and a new series, and there’s no reason to think that the Hook C won’t be fired up and ready to go with the Big East regular-season championship on the line.