The only thing hotter than the 90 degree weather might be UConn’s surprisingly good baseball team. That’s not a typo: I’m actually talking about UConn baseball.
Let’s talk about individuals first. There are two members of the team who were just picked in the first round of the MLB draft, which for UConn is unprecedented. George Springer, an outfielder, was selected with the 11th pick in the draft by the Houston Astros. He is having a phenomenal season at the plate hitting .350 with 77 RBI. The scouting report on him says that the Astros think he can be a 5-tool player and the face of their franchise (but then again, everyone getting drafted that high is thought of that way).
Not to be overshadowed, pitcher Matt Barnes was selected 19th overall by the Red Sox — which you’d think would be a big deal for a hometown boy. Originally from Bethel, it was reported that Barnes was a life long Yankees fan and the Red Sox organization was willing to overlook that one fairly major character flaw. Hey, nobody’s perfect, right? He is also having a fantastic season, Barnes is the marquee starting pitcher on UConn’s team with a 1.12 ERA and an 11-3 overall record.
In addition to Springer and Barnes, there were five other UConn Huskies taken in the draft. So it’s really no surprise that UConn’s season has been one of its best. This team has made it to the Super Regional round of the College World Series.
The College World Series is a little more complicated than the NCAA Basketball Tournament because it’s not a 1 loss and you’re out type situation. To make it simple, UConn plays a series of games against South Carolina (ranked #4 in the country) this weekend. If they win 2 out of 3, they go to the College World Series to play a round robin against 7 other teams. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves.
Barnes is scheduled to pitch game one on Saturday night against South Carolina. Let’s hope he is on his A-game! Go UConn!