The UConn Huskies (49-14) are in the NCAA Super Regionals and play in Palo Alto, California tonight in Game 1 of the best-of-three Super Regional against the No. 2 Stanford Cardinal (45-15) who won the PAC-12 Tournament, but struggled last weekend in the Regionals and needed three runs in the ninth inning to beat Texas State to survive and advance. First pitch of tonight’s Game 1 from Klein Field at Sunken Diamond is at 9:30 p.m. (Central Time) and televised on ESPNU.
UConn is playing in their first Super Regional since 2011. The winner of this series will advance to the College World Series. UConn has reached the CWS five times, but the last trip was in 1979.
The goal, as remote as it may seem, is in clear view for the gritty team from the northeast.
With the college baseball season beginning in February, that favors the teams in the South and West Coast and forces teams in the Northeast and Midwest to play most of the first half of the season on the road and hold many practices indoors.
The last team in the New England area to win the College World Series was Holy Cross back in 1952, long before the current 64-team format. The UConn Huskies are the only Northeast team among the 16 teams still dancing in the NCAA Tournament and the first team from the Northeast to make it this far since Stony Brook in 2012.
Many Northeastern schools have dropped baseball programs in recent years — Providence did so after winning 49 games in 1999. With so few home games that can be played in bearable temperatures, there’s often a reluctance from schools to invest money into the programs.
If UConn can pull off the upset in these Super Regionals against a warm weather powerhouse, this would be a huge statement and program builder not only for the UConn Huskies, but for other programs in the Northeast and Midwest.
If you’re not rooting for UConn, then your rooter is busted.
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