UConn Mentioned in Baseball America Chat

Question: "Where do you put St. John's currently in the national picture? They did get swept by Uconn earlier this season but rebounded quite nicely this past weekend. Some will argue that Louisville is a better team than UConn."     –Matt STJ (STJ)

Answer: "I will not make that argument — UConn is the best team in the Big East, and St. John's and Louisville are the next two, for me. At least, that's how I see it playing out by the end of the year. I like St. John's — we did have that team ranked in the preseason Top 25, and it's good to see the Johnnies getting back on track, but I think it will be hard for that team to get back into the at-large picture. The RPI works against Northern teams, so they really have to get off to strong starts in preconference play, which isn't easy when you're facing a bunch of warm-weather teams early in the year." -Aaron Fitt, Baseball America


UConn Smashes UMass 18-3

UConn is now riding a five-game winning streak after an 18-3 win in Amherst, Mass.

Anthony Marzi, RP, Fr. (Photo Courtesy of UConn Ahtletics)

Game Notes:

  • UConn led 8-2 after two innings and 17-2 after five innings. (The team scored 2+ runs in each of the first five innings)
  • Tim Martin hit his second home run of the season. He now leads the team with an average of one HR every 22.5 AB (minimum 15 games played). George Springer is second in that category with one HR every 32.0 AB.
  • Mike Nemeth also hit his second home run of the season. At this point last year Nemeth had 8 HR.
  • Game No. 35 was the first game for UConn in 2011 with multiple HR. Through 35 games in 2010 the team had 12 games with 2+ HR.
  • Anthony Marzi made his first career appearance. He was the first pitcher out of the bullpen after starter David Fischer pitched three innings and had been staked to a 10-2 lead. Marzi entered the game and had the following line: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K. Because Fischer did not pitch at least 5.0 IP, Marzi was credited with the win.
  • Stephen Catalina pitched the final three innings to lock down his first career save. In what is Catalina’s longest career outing, he entered an 18-2 ballgame with a 16-run lead but pitched at least three innings to finish the game which qualified him for a save opportunity.

Jim Penders Weekly Interview: 4/18

0:00 – Tuesday’s 10-7 Loss @ Yale
1:58 – 3-Game Sweep vs. Villanova
3:52 – Doug Elliot’s Big Weekend
5:28 – Impact of Suspension
7:31 – Suspension Update
8:43 – In-Conference Success

Five Suspensions Announced

In Monday’s interview with UConn Head Coach Jim Penders, Penders alluded to “selfish decisions” made by some of his players following Saturday’s win at Notre Dame.

In the aftermath of those events, five players have been suspended for what is being called “violation of team rules”.

The five players: Elliot Glynn, Bob Van Woert, Michael Zaccardo, Joe Pavone, and Ted Hurvul

If they complete the assignments required by Penders, Glynn, Van Woert, Zaccardo and Pavone will be reinstated no sooner than Easter (Minimum 11-game suspension).

Hurvul is suspended indefinitely.

These players have already served two games of the suspension, Sunday vs. Notre Dame and Tuesday vs. Yale, and the team has gone 0-2 in these games.

From Monday’s Interview:

Saturday leaving the park, we’re not quite as strong as we thought we were. We had some distractions of the field Saturday into Sunday and some guys made some selfish decisions. Now we’re going to have a few team suspensions and things that none of us foresaw and things that hopefully won’t take a lot away from our season. I’m not going to make excuses for us, we’ve got to be strong enough to handle that.”          
-Jim Penders

Offense Disappearing in College Baseball: Post 2 of 2

The word around college baseball is about the impact of the new aluminum bats on the game halfway through the regular season. The stats show the difference in how the game is being played in 2011.

The top-10 offenses from 2010 (most of them returning a majority of their starting lineup) and how they have fared offensively in 2011:

1. Utah Valley: 2010 average: .373 / 2011 average: .277 / Starters back: 7
2. Pittsburgh: 2010 average: .365 / 2011 average: .296 / Starters back: 6
3. Georgia State: 2010 average: .355 / 2011 average: .317 / Starters back: 7
4. South Dakota State: 2010 average: .350 / 2011 average: .350 / Starters back: 8
5. New Mexico State: 2010 average: .349 / 2011 average: .358 / Starters back: 6
6. Auburn: 2010 average: .348 / 2011 average: .296 / Starters back: 6
7. Southeast Missouri State: 2010 average: .346 / 2011 average: .299 / Starters back: 8
8. New Mexico: 2010 average: .346 / 2011 average: .269 / Starters back: 1
9. Campbell: 2010 average: .345 / 2011 average: .299 / Starters back: 4
10. Northern Colorado: 2010 average: .345 / 2011 average: .261 / Starters back: 6

55. Connecticut: 2010 average: .322 / 2011 average: .281 / Starters back: 7

Pitching Staffs in 2011 Lacking Run-Support:

• Texas: Team ERA: 2.41 / Team average: .254
• UCLA: Team ERA: 1.99 / Team average: .244
• Cal State Fullerton: Team ERA: 2.41 / Team average: .272
• Oregon: Team ERA: 3.06 / Team average: .229
• Louisville: Team ERA: 2.12 / Team average: .257
• Wichita State: Team ERA: 3.14 team / Team average: .265
• Coastal Carolina: Team ERA: 2.90 / Team average: .252

Connecticut: Team ERA: 2.85 ERA / Team average .281

–Stats compliments of Eric Sorenson, ESPN.com

Offense Disappearing in College Baseball: Post 1 of 2

At the midway point of the 2011 college baseball season, ESPN took another look at how the new regulations for aluminum bats have impacted the game across all Division-I baseball teams.

Photo Courtesy of Arizona Athletics

  • Home Runs Per Game:
    • 2011 – 0.47 home runs
    • 2010 – 0.85 home runs
  • Runs Per Game:
    • 2011 – 5.63 runs
    • 2010 – 6.98 runs
  • Batting Average:
    • 2011 – .279 BA
    • 2010 – .301 BA
  • Earned Run Average
    • 2011 – 4.62 ERA
    • 2010 – 5.83 ERA

The coaches interviewed by ESPN were strongly against the bat changes:

  • “I didn’t see what was wrong with the bats last year. I thought last year there were great pitching performances, and if you could pitch, you could beat the hitter. There were just enough home runs to keep it interesting.”   –Mike Fox, Head Coach, University of North Carolina
  • “I’m a little concerned it’s too much. I was concerned about making any change when we’re doing so well as far as the popularity of college baseball. I’ve been at this a long time, and it’s never been as popular as it is now.” –Mark Marquess, Head Coach, Stanford University

Jim Penders Weekly Interview: 4/11

0:00 – Men’s Basketball National Championship

1:18 – Relationship with Jim Calhoun

3:08 – Players’ Reaction to National Championship

4:32 – Bob Van Woert

Note: The question at the 5:48-mark refers to Van Woert‘s 16-3 career excluding the 2008 season. He was 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in 2008 before undergoing season-ending surgery and applying for a medical redshirt.

6:51 – Sunday’s 14-4 Loss @ Notre Dame

8:15 – Focus for Upcoming Week