There is truly no place like home for Connecticut.
After a seven-year run in the American Athletic Conference, Jim Penders (Vernon, Conn.) and the Huskies returned “home” to the Big East last spring and won the conference’s regular-season and tournament championships in the same year for the first time ever.
UConn, which produced five MLB draft picks last summer including East Region Player of the Year Kyler Fedko and North Carolina transfer-turned-Friday starter Ben Casparius, won 34 games before a tough ending, going 1-2 in NCAA regional play at Notre Dame. But it didn’t always feel like that kind of season.
“We learned that we could be pretty darn resilient,” Penders said. “It was a very disjointed group in the fall, because so many teams experienced the biggest age gap between seniors and freshmen that you’ll ever see. They didn’t have much in common, but I look back now and say, ‘Well, no kidding.’ … Once we got into the clubhouse, in the dugout, on the road, things just clicked and we really turned around a rough start (5-11 through 16 games).