#37 Connecticut Baseball 2019 Preview

Connecticut Huskies
Overall Rank: #37
Conference Rank: #2 American
 Connecticut Logo
Head Coach Jim Penders has quietly built the Connecticut baseball program into one of those teams that you really don’t want to see on an opening Friday of an NCAA Regional. The Huskies were snubbed as a regional host in 2018 and were sent to the Conway, South Carolina regional where they went 2-2, beating LIU Brooklyn and Coastal Carolina but dropping a pair of games to Washington.
2018: 37-22-1, 14-10
2018 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jim Penders
Key Departed Players:
Zac Susi, C, .335 BA, 1 HR, 33 RBI
Troy Stefanski, OF, .326 BA, 5 HR, 35 RBI, 14 SB
Issac Feldstein, OF, .276 BA, 14 HR, 45 RBI, 5 SB
Tim Cate, P, 2.91 ERA, 5-4 W/L, 52.2 IP, 19 BB, 67 SO
P.J. Poulin, P, 3.26 ERA, 6-2 W/L, 49.2 IP, 20 BB, 60 SO, 16 SV
Key Returning Players:
Mason Feole, P, 2.50 ERA, 9-2 W/L, 100.2 IP, 49 BB, 120 SO
John Toppa, OF .283 BA, 1 HR, 30 RBI, 11 SB 
Anthony Prato, SS .324 BA, 2 HR, 23 RBI, 18 SB
Mike Woodworth, UTIL, .302 BA, 4 HR, 22 RBI 13 SB
Chris Winkel, 1B/OF, .264 BA, 4 HR, 33 RBI, 7 SB
Thad Phillips, C/INF, 257 BA, 2 HR, 20 RBI
Christian Fedko, INF, .255 BA, 1 HR, 33 RBI
Chase Gardner P, 4.00 ERA, 4-2 W/L, 69.2 IP, 31 BB, 63 SO
CJ Dandeneau P, 4.97 ERA, 2-1 W/L, 25.1 IP, 24 SO
Jake Wallace, P, 3.95 ERA, 1-0 W/L,.43.1 IP, 21 BB, 63 SO
Mason Feole will be the ace of the staff and set the tone for weekend series in 2019. Feole was very durable as he threw 100.2 innings last season and did a very nice job of going after opposing hitters, only walking 49 batters and holding batters to a .220 average in 2018. Chase Gardner will be another key for the Huskies during weekend series’ as Gardner made 15 starts and has very good control. Gardner walked 31 batters in 69.2 innings of work and he does a good job of keeping the ball in the ballpark as he allowed just one homerun in 2018. Anthony Prato and Mike Woodworth are going to be critical keys to the Connecticut’s offensive attack. Prato hit .324 last season with 23 runs batted in and stole 18 bases in 24 attempts. Woodworth will need to add a little to his power numbers. Woodworth and Chris Winkel will be asked to make up for the lost power production form Issac Feldstein. The season opens in Lakeland, Florida against Louisville for a three-game series. The Huskies will go back to Conway to play Northeastern, Coastal Carolina, Indiana and Illinois.in the first part of March. Then, a road game at Virginia will be a great test to prep Connecticut for a key AAC trip to Houston. That will go a long way towards dictating the conference race. Overall, the Huskies should end up peaking by the end of the season and get back to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament