Hot Huskies on tap for Hall this weekend

The last time the baseball team faced Connecticut it was to ad­vance to the Big East Champion­ship game. This time around it will be both teams’ second con­ference series of the year when the Pirates take on the Huskies in Storrs, Conn.

“I think for us, we’re prepared and I’m sure that they have a sour taste in our mouth,” head coach Rob Sheppard. “We have to, regardless of who it is in the conference, we got to play at a high level and we’re ready for it. We just got to keep playing good baseball.”

Starting conference play the Pi­rates dropped two of three games at home to Rutgers while Con­necticut swept their opening se­ries against West Virginia. Enter­ing this weekend the Hall holds a 12-12 record with the Huskies at 12-11.

The two teams did not face each other in the regular season last year but met in the second round of the Big East Champi­onships. In the first matchup the fifth seeded Pirates defeated top seed Connecticut in 12 innings, 4-3, and two days later the Pirates won again this time in eight in­nings, 12-2.

Currently Connecticut is on a six game winning streak with a victory against Central Connecti­cut, Wednesday. Over that stretch the Huskies have averaged 9.8 runs a game while only allowing 3.7 runs a game including out­scoring West Virginia 33-12.

All season it has been the of­fense that has led the Huskies. In their wins the team is scoring 8.2 runs a game with junior LJ Mazzilli leading the way. Mazzil­li has a team high .363 batting average along with team highs of 23 runs, six home runs, 21 RBI’s and a .703 slugging percentage. Also helping the Huskies offense is senior Ryan Fuller who is hit­ting .329 and leads the team with a .466 on base percentage.

This weekend the Huskies po­tent offense will have to matchup against the Pirates pitching staff which ranks third in the Big East. Led by junior Jon Prosinski, the Hall’s team ERA this season is 3.71 and opposing batters are hit­ting .265.

Prosinski, who will get the start on Friday has a 2.90 ERA in 40.1 innings pitched with opposing batters only hitting .268 against him. Junior Ryan Harvey and sophomore Brian Gilbert will also get the starts this weekend but Sheppard has not decided what days they will start.

Out of the bullpen senior Benny Mejia has been a consistent force for the team. In 11 appearances, Mejia has struck out 15 batter and has held opponents to a .183 aver­age against.

“Benny’s been great out of the bullpen,” Sheppard said. “It’s good to see him starting sure up a little role as we get more into our conference, but Benny’s been tre­mendous as well.”

First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday with both weekend game scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

Stephen Valenti can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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