UConn baseball on its way to Big East title

Matt McDonough, Sports Editor

Winners of their last five games, the UConn baseball has all but clinched a regular season Big East championship. Although the Big East got three NCAA bids last season, with Louisville (regular season champ), St. John’s (tournament champ) and UConn (at-large Regional host) all playing in the national tournament. Baseball America projects the Big East conference, usually a one-bid league, to have no teams safely in the tournament, but according to Aaron Fitt the Huskies are on the bubble (in).

UConn swept South Florida Mother’s Day weekend 2-1, 9-5 and 2-0, respectively. The first game of the series was at Dodd Stadium in Norwich and the Huskies and Bulls finished the three-game slate at J.O. Christian Field in Storrs. The three victories improved UConn’s conference record to 18-3, 34-13-1 overall, and the Huskies are sitting pretty in first place of the Big East, 4 1/2 games ahead of second-place St. John’s. First-round MLB Draft prospects, center fielder George Springer and right-handed pitcher Matt Barnes, are carrying the team. Springer leads in major hitting categories with 10 home runs, 64 RBIs, a .376 batting average and a .473 on-base percentage. Barnes is 9-3 with a 1.38 ERA.

The Huskies still have to win a few more games to clinch the title. They close out the home schedule this weekend against Louisville. Friday’s 6 p.m. game is in Norwich, and the final two games, on Saturday and Sunday, are on-campus with 1 p.m. and 12 p.m. first pitch times, respectively. UConn will go on the road the following week with mid-week matchups at Rhode Island and Northeastern before finishing up the regular season at Cincinnati the weekend of May 19.

As the baseball team continues to get close to one of its goals, another UConn team already accomplished theirs. The men’s track team, who surprised the field in the winter capturing the indoor Big East championship, won the outdoor conference title on Sunday, Graduation Day. Aaron King was the Big East Outstanding Field Performer. The usual suspects, King, Tyrone Faverey, Mike Rutt and Dan Holst paced the team. Kashif Moore, Darnell Cummings, Kevin Smith and Jesse Drinks won the 4 x 100-meter relay with a school record time of 40.69. For Moore, a captain of the football team, it was his third Big East title of the year. Prior to Sunday Moore won the Big East as a wide receiver on the 2010 football team and a member of the indoor team.

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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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