UConn baseball picked as preseason Big East favorite

By Mac Cerullo, Sports Editor

The UConn baseball team has been picked as the preseason favorite to win the Big East conference by the  leagues 12 head coaches. UConn received 9 out of 11 possible first place votes to lift them ahead of St. John’s (picked second) and Louisville (picked third). The first place preseason pick is the highest of coach Jim Penders’ tenure at UConn.

Last season UConn finished 48-16 overall with a 20-6 mark in the Big East. The Huskies finished a half game out of first place behind Louisville in the regular season, and then lost out on the Big East tournament championship when they fell to St. John’s. The Huskies did earn an NCAA Tournament berth, and hosted a regional in Norwich, CT. There, the Huskies won their first NCAA Tournament game since 1979, but did not advance after being beaten by the University of Oregon twice in the opening double elimination round.

This year’s UConn team looks to build on last years success, as the team will return seven starters from last season, including the preseason player of the year in George Springer, and the preseason pitcher of the year in Matt Barnes. Both players are juniors and both spent time over this past summer playing for Team USA’s collegiate national team.

Springer hit .337 with 18 home runs, 62 RBIs and 33 stolen bases last season, and will be joined in what again promises to be a potent lineup by senior first basemen Mike Nemeth and junior designated hitter Kevin Vance, both of whom were also named to the preseason All Big East team along with Springer and Barnes.

The Huskies open their season on Feb. 18 in the Big East/Big Ten Challenge against Purdue in Florida.

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UConn Men’s Basketball

West Region - No. 3 Seed, 30-9 (9-9)

Last Game: 65-63 W vs. (5) Arizona (March 26)

Next Game: vs. (4) Kentucky (April 2, 8:49 p.m., Reliant Stadium, Houston.)

1 - Enosch Wolf
2 - Donnell Beverly
3 - Jeremy Lamb
4 - Jamal Coombs-McDaniel
5 - Niels Giffey
10 - Tyler Olander
13 - Shabazz Napier
15 - Kemba Walker
21 - Kyle Bailey
22 - Roscoe Smith
23 - Benjamin Stewart
25 - Michael Bradley
34 - Alex Oriakhi
35 - Charles Okwandu

UConn Women’s Basketball

Philadelphia Region No. 1 Seed, 36-1 (16-0)

Last Game: 75-40 W vs. (2) Duke (March 29)

Next Game: vs. (2) Notre Dame (April 3, 9 p.m., Canseco Field House, Indianapolis, Ind.)

3 - Tiffany Hayes
5 - Caroline Doty
12 - Lauren Engeln
14 - Bria Hartley
23 - Maya Moore
25 - Michala Johnson
30 - Lorin Dixon
31 - Stefanie Dolson
32 - Heather Buck
34 - Kelly Faris

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