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The UConn Fast Break- 6/3/2022
NCAA Tournament previews, jersey numbers and new contracts!
Welcome to this week’s Fast Break, and thank you for being a subscriber. Welcome to the NCAA baseball tournament!
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UConn baseball to open College Park Regional
UConn baseball begins its fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance on Friday, as the Huskies will take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at 1 p.m. to open the College Park Regional, hosted by No. 15 Maryland.
The Big East regular season and tournament champions will send Austin Peterson (10-2, 3.22 ERA) to the mound against ACC pitcher of the year Rhett Lowder (11-3, 2.61) and the overpowering Wake Forest offense.
Of the nine qualified Demon Deacons hitters, eight have a batting average above .270 and six have an OPS over 1.000. The lowest OPS of those nine batters is .771 and the team boasts a pair of 20-home run hitters in Brock Wilken (.266/.361/.589) and Brendan Tinsman (.349/.391/.703). Wake Forest has by far the best stable of bats that Peterson will face all year and shutting them down will be a tall task, as the team scores 9.3 runs per game.
The regional is filled out by the hosts and by the LIU Sharks, which were known as the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds the last time they were in a Regional, joining UConn in the Conway Regional in 2018.
The Terrapins’ offense is no slouch either, also with two batters over the 20-home run threshold in Big Ten player of the year Chris Alleyne (.346/.439/.692) and Matt Shaw (.294/.389/.629), which should make for a weekend of offensive fireworks at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium. Follow along with our preview content and our coverage of each game this weekend with each of our stories all in one place.
College Park Regional preview - Get to know UConn’s opponents in the No. 15 Maryland Terrapins, Wake Forest Demon Deacons and LIU Sharks.
Can UConn make a Super Regional? - The Huskies had a regular season to remember, but now that the competition takes a step up, will the team do so as well?
UConn’s recent NCAA Tournament history - Jim Penders’ crew has made a Regional in each of the past four tournaments.
Huskies placed in College Park Regional - UConn will battle with No. 15 Maryland, Wake Forest and LIU for a Super Regional spot.
Big East Tournament belongs to UConn - The Huskies took home both the regular season and tournament championships for the second straight year.
New jersey numbers - The three newcomers to the Huskies have announced which jersey number they will wear this year.
UConn WBB Weekly - Summer workouts began this week, marking the unofficial start of the 2022-23 season.
UConn to face Division II Kutztown in preseason - Geno Auriemma discussed the team’s plans for the preseason, among other things.
Mike Cavanaugh signs six-year contract - Despite signing an extension last year, overtures from Boston College helped fetch Cavanaugh a new six-year, $3.58 million deal.
Commit Arsenii Sergeev named USHL goaltender of the year - The Russian netminder will battle for the starting spot in Storrs this fall.
Stephon Castle makes USA U-18 team - The UConn pledge will play at the FIBA World Championship in Mexico next week.
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Check out the dogpile after the final out of UConn baseball’s victory over Xavier in the Big East Tournament championship!
Four years ago this week, the Huskies headed to the Conway Regional as part of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, despite being considered by many as host-worthy. In an elimination game against No. 15 Coastal Carolina, which was a back-and-forth contest, then-freshman Christian Fedko hit this home run to put his team on top in the eighth inning, a shot that proved to be the game-winner.
It was Fedko’s first career home run, but if you watched this bat flip, it looked like he had been there a time or two before.
After the game, head coach Jim Penders said of his second baseman “He went around the bases a little too slow but in this situation, we’ll allow him a little leeway. He hit a big one.”
UConn, Great Pic
The baseball team had its workout on Thursday at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium in College Park in advance of its NCAA Tournament opener against Wake Forest. The UConn baseball Twitter account posted some shots.
It seemed likely to happen after UConn men’s hockey head coach Mike Cavanaugh rebuffed overtures from Boston College for its head coaching position to stay at UConn, but the head man has a new contract. Cavanaugh worked under retiring head coach Jerry York for 18 seasons before taking the head gig at UConn in 2013 and removed himself from consideration for the position before the school hired Greg Brown, who also is a former assistant to York.
Cavanaugh was rewarded for his loyalty with a six-year, $3.58 million deal, tacking on two years to the agreement he signed last May. The Massachusetts native will now be making just shy of $600,000 annually, plus incentives, which likely places him among the highest-paid head coaches in Hockey East, though as most of the elite programs in the league are private, it is unclear where he ranks.
Despite a lack of institutional support early in his tenure, UConn has steadily improved throughout Cavanaugh’s run as head coach, just barely missing out on the NCAA Tournament this season, as the Huskies made the Hockey East championship game. With a long-term agreement and new on-campus facility slated to open in January, the Huskies should continue to reach new heights over the coming years.
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