Welcome to The UConn Blog’s 2024 UConn baseball preview. This is our ninth season covering the Huskies on a day-to-day basis and between this site and our newsletter, which will have something new each day leading up to opening day.
There are 14 weekends in the college baseball schedule before Memorial Day Weekend and conference tournaments. For UConn baseball, these are evenly split between non-league and Big East play. The Huskies will be racking up the frequent-flyer miles yet again, as they don’t have a bus trip until the final weekend before conference play, with two trips to California and one each to Alabama and Florida.
UConn will get three opponents on opening weekend in Indiana State, Louisville and USF.
The Huskies will open with USF, against which they’ve played 65 times, mostly as conference mates in both the Big East and American Athletic Conference. The Bulls have a 30-35 all-time edge, but UConn is 10-6 since the start of the 2016 season. USF was just 21-39 last year.
Indiana State comes on Saturday, which will be the third meeting all time, following a pair of netrual-site battles in 2005 and 2014. The Sycamores were one of the best stories in baseball last season, going 45-17 and earning the No. 14 seed in the NCAA Tournament out of the Missouri Valley. They would have hosted a Super Regional, if not for a prior commitment to a Special Olympics event.
Lousiville finishes off opening weekend. The two programs matched up in this event two years ago, which was a 9-2 Huskies win. Jack Sullivan, who pitched 1 1⁄3 innings of relief, is the only remaining UConn player that appeared. Jim Penders’ team also took two of three from the Cardinals in 2019, which was the first meeting between the teams since Louisville left for the ACC.
UConn played a split weekend with the Golden Bears and Cal Poly in 2023, but it’ll be three games against California in Berkeley this year. Mike Neu’s team was just 12-18 in Pac-12 play last year and 24-28 overall. The programs have matched up just three times before, with a 2-1 advantage for the Golden Bears.
The Huskies are going to the Plains for the first time to face Auburn the first weekend of March. The Tigers won the only other game between the two teams, which took place in 2014 in Port Charlotte, FL. Auburn made the College World Series in 2022 and has missed the NCAA Tournament just once since 2017, hosting a Regional last season with a 34-23-1 record.
UC Santa Barbara
UC Santa Barbara has hosted UConn just once before, in 2016, and will do so again for another series in 2024. The Gauchos earned the sweep in that series and were 35-20 last year, including 18-12 in the Big West, but missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2018.
UConn and Cal Baptist will be meeting for the first time between March 15-17. The Lancers moved to Division I in 2019 and have already won two WAC regular season titles, but were eligible for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 2023. Cal Baptist finished 28-30 last season, including 15-15 in WAC play.
The Scarlet Knights appeared on the schedule for the first time in 1946 and 50 years later, they became conference-mates with UConn until leaving for the Big Ten following the 2014 season. The Huskies swept Rutgers at Elliot Ballpark last season to even the all-time series at 34-34.
Big East Series
UConn and Butler played for the first time in Jacksonville in 2004 and have met in Big East play in 2022 and 2023. The Huskies are 8-1 in those games, as the Bulldogs staved off a sweep last season. They’ll host this year’s series May 16-18. Butler finished last in the Big East at 5-16, with an overall record of 12-43.
Each of the eight games between the Bluejays and Huskies have come in Big East events. UConn is 7-1, including 2-0 in the Big East Tournament, though the Huskies dropped last year’s series opener It was a disappointing 2023 for Creighton, missing the Big East Tournament for the first time since 2018 with a 25-24 overall record. The Bluejays come to Storrs May 10-12.
The Hoyas snuck into the Big East Tournament at 10-10 for the second straight year and back-to-back top-four finishes for the first time in program history. UConn is 56-22 since the first matchup between the programs in 1985, including 4-0 in the Big East Tournament. Georgetown swept the Huskies in 2022, potentially crushing their chances of hosting an NCAA Tournament Regional.
The eighth-longest series in UConn history is a dead heat, as Seton Hall and the Huskies are tied 47-47, though UConn is 14-2 in the last 16 games, dating back to 2017, including the last 10. The Pirates were 13-8 in the Big East in 2023, with a third-place finish, but haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2011.
The Red Storm is tied with Boston College for the third-longest series in UConn history, behind just Rhode Island and UMass. The Huskies have a slight 66-60 edge and haven’t lost a weekend series since 2012, with four straight wins. St. John’s was just 8-12 in Big East play last season and haven’t made the conference tournament since Mike Hampton took over in 2020.
UConn and Xavier have met in the Big East Tournament seven times since the Huskies joined the league in 2021, with a 4-3 advantage to the Huskies. Overall, the Storrs nine are 11-7 against the Musketeers. Xavier was 14-7 in the Big East and won the conference tournament in 2023, getting into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2017.