BIG EAST Baseball

UConn Baseball Looks To Repeat As BIG EAST Champs In 2023

UConn Baseball Looks To Repeat As BIG EAST Champs In 2023

After winning 50 games last season, UConn baseball returns in 2023 as the favorite to win the BIG EAST.

Jan 31, 2023 by Joe Harrington

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After winning 50 games and being on the cusp of reaching the College World Series before its season ended in the NCAA Super Regionals, UConn baseball returns in 2023 as the favorite to win the BIG EAST. 

In December, BIG EAST coaches selected the Huskies as the preseason favorite to win the league for the third consecutive season. 

The Huskies reached the Super Regionals for the first time since 2011 last year and were a win away from advancing to Omaha after taking the first game from Stanford, 13-12. But the Cardinals, then ranked No.2 in the country, won the next two games to advance. It would have been UConn’s first trip to the College World Series since 1979. 

But it’s a new season for the Huskies. Here’s what to know.

Reggie Crawford Was Drafted By The San Francisco Giants

One of the stars for UConn in 2022 was Reggie Crawford, who hit .309 with 18 doubles and 14 home runs while also pitching in 7.2 innings with a 2.35 ERA with 17 strikeouts. Crawford was the fifth Husky under coach Jim Penders to be taken in the first round and eighth overall.

Preseason BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year Ian Cooke

While Crawford may be in the pro ranks now, the Huskies return Ian Cooke, who BIG EAST coaches selected as the preseason Pitcher of the Year. Cooke was 7-1 with a 3.64 ERA as a freshman in 2022. He struck out 54 batters in 54.1 innings. 

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UConn Offense Led By Ben Huber, Korey Morton

Ben Huber and Korey Morton were selected to the BIG EAST Preseason All-Conference team. Huber transferred to UConn from Limestone, and was an instant impact player, slugging 11 home runs and driving in 66 runs with a .327 average. 

Morton, the DH, had 51 hits in 41 games with a .411 average. He hit 11 doubles and stole nine bases. 

UConn Coach Jim Penders Returns For 20th Season

Jim Penders continues a legacy at Connecticut. A former standout player, like his dad of the same name, Jim Penders enters his 20th season at UConn. Penders played for UConn and helped the team win 99 games over his four seasons during the 1990s. He hit .354 with seven home runs as a senior in 1994. 

Jim Penders senior was one of the program’s best players in the 1960s and his uncle Tom was a head men’s college basketball coach from 1971-2010 with a memorable tenure at Texas from 1988-1998. 

Is UConn Baseball Ranked?

Collegiate Baseball ranked UConn No. 31 in its preseason rankings. 

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When Does UConn's Baseball Season Start?

The Huskies’ first series is against Ohio State in Sarasota, Fla. from Feb. 17-Feb. 20. 

The Huskies first game in Connecticut is March 7 against Hartford. 

When Does BIG EAST Baseball Season Begin For UConn?

The Huskies play their first BIG EAST game on April 6 in Queens, New York against St. John’s University.

The BIG EAST Championship is scheduled from May 25-May 28 at Prasco Park in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason, Ohio.