Baseball’s all about the numbers. There are the occasional short term and season long statistical oddities but for the most part the numbers don’t lie in relation to a team’s body of work. Unfortunately for 2013 edition of the UConn Huskies, the numbers are average at best.
UConn (25-19, 8-10 Big East) is coming off a three game sweep at the hands of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (26-16, 7-8 Big East) that dropped the Huskies 6 ½ games back of conference leading USF (29-15, 13-2) and into seventh place overall in the Big East. UConn has lost six straight conference games for the first time since 2006. Coach Jim Penders’ squad was swept at home by the USF Bulls last weekend in a crucial three game conference match-up. UConn has only six conference games remaining including a three game set at Rutgers (20-22, 8-7) and the final three at home against Louisville (33-10, 11-4). Louisville leads the nation in strikeouts per nine innings with a blistering 9.4 K’s/9 average.
UConn is 2-6 over their last eight sandwiching back to back three game sweeps around a pair of out of conference wins over UMass and Bryant last week. Over the eight game stretch the Huskies struggled on both sides of the ledger. Critical errors, sub-par pitching and a lack of timely hits have all contributed to dropping UConn into the lower half of the eleven team Big East Conference standings.
Defense, or the lack thereof, has been one of the biggest culprits in the past ten days with the Huskies averaging over two errors per contest. For the season UConn is averaging just over one unearned run allowed per game. Of the 52 runs allowed by UConn pitching since game one of the USF series, thirteen were unearned. In addition, the pitching staff, which has a respectable 3.39 ERA, didn’t do itself any favors over the same stretch allowing an average of 11 hits, 3.3 walks and just over 1 hit batsman per game.
Punch and Judy
UConn’s offense, average at best and suffering a season long power outage, provided little lift over the eight game stretch averaging a paltry 4.3 runs per game and leaving an average of 8.5 runners stranded on the base paths. UConn is hitting a lackluster .268 as a team and has only hit a grand total of fifteen homers over 45 games contributing to a meager .356 slugging percentage.
With twelve games remaining, split evenly between home and the road, UConn will hope to finish strong, but will, in all likelihood, need to win the Big East Championship to make the NCAA tournament field for the third time in four years. UConn’s RPI is in the mid 90’s and in reality needs to be at least 30 points higher to even be considered for an at-large bid.
UConn is 11th nationally in stolen bases per game at 2.15…The Huskies are 12th nationally with a total of 95 stolen bases…Billy Ferriter and LJ Mazzilli both have 265 career hits, good for second all-time…Since 2006 UConn is 19-28-1 versus ranked teams…Dan Feehan’s next pitching appearance will give him 87 tying him all-time with David Erickson (2005-2009)…UConn host’s Sacred Heart this afternoon at 3:30 this afternoon at J. O. Christian Field in Storrs