This Week in BIG EAST Baseball - April 28

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Less than half of the BIG EAST baseball season remains and Connecticut holds a two-game lead on first place. The Huskies enter the weekend with a 12-game winning streak, the longest current streak in the nation. Pittsburgh is in second place, a half-game ahead of St. John's. The Red Storm and Panthers will battle in Pittsburgh this weekend. Last weekend, three BIG EAST pitchers tossed complete-game shutouts including St. John's Kyle Hansen (vs. Notre Dame), Connecticut's Matt Barnes (vs. Georgetown) and Pittsburgh's Matt Iannazzo (vs. Rutgers). The 2011 BIG EAST Championship will take place May 25-29 at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. Connecticut (29-12-1, 13-2) at Rutgers (14-23, 6-9) Fri., April 29, 3 p.m.: UConn - RHP Matt Barnes (8-2, 0.92 ERA) vs. RHP Tyler Gebler (2-4, 2.99 ERA) Live Stats Sat., April 30, 1 p.m.: UConn - LHP Greg Nappo (5-2, 2.74 ERA) vs. LHP Rob Smorol (3-5, 4.21 ERA) Live Stats Sun., May 1, 1 p.m.: UConn - RHP Brian Ward (2-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. RHP Nathaniel Roe (3-6, 5.66 ERA) Live Stats - Connecticut has a 12-game winning streak entering the series against Rutgers. It is the longest current winning streak in the country. Oklahoma and Georgia Tech hold the record for longest winning streak of 2011 at 16. - Connecticut's pitching staff is led by junior Matt Barnes. Barnes has won eight-straight starts since starting the season 0-2. He leads the league in wins (8), ERA (0.92), innings pitched (78.0), strikeouts (69) and opponent batting average (.152). - The Huskies' offense has been the best in the conference. Connecticut leads the BIG EAST in conference games in hitting (.326), slugging (.438), on-base percentage (.394), runs scored (104) and RBI (93). - Connecticut has outscored opponents 125-35 during it 12-game winning streak. - Rutgers ranks first in the BIG EAST in fielding percentage at .977. The Scarlet Knights have committed 14 errors in 604 chances. - Rutgers sophomore starter Rob Smorol has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last four starts. - The Scarlet Knights are led at the plate by Michael Lang, who is hitting .326 this season. West Virginia (24-16, 10-5) at Villanova (15-24, 2-13) Fri., April 29, 3:15 p.m.: WVU - RHP Josh McCauley (1-2, 3.86 ERA) vs. VU - RHP Kyle McMyne (3-6, 5.30 ERA) Listen Live Live Stats Sat., April 30, 1:15 p.m.: WVU - LHP Marshall Thompson (4-1, 4.40 ERA) vs. VU - Kyle Helisek (0-6, 5.37 ERA) Listen Live Live Stats Sun., May 1, 12:15 p.m.: WVU - RHP Andy Berry (6-2, 3.90 ERA) vs. VU - TBA Listen Live Live Stats - West Virginia head coach Greg Van Zant recorded his 500th career win last weekend against Seton Hall. He is just the fourth coach in school history to accomplish the feat. - The Mountaineers are the only BIG EAST team with three players in the top ten of the conference in batting average. Grant Buckner ranks fifth (.349), Brady Wilson ranks seventh (.342) and Jeremy Gum stands eighth (.341). - WVU starting pitchers Andy Berry and Harrison Musgrave each have three wins in conference play. The two have led a staff that ranks third in conference games in ERA (3.20). Musgrave is 3-1 with a 3.54 ERA against BIG EAST opponents, while Berry is 3-1 with a 3.75 ERA. - Villanova won its fourth outright Liberty Bell Classic after defeating Delaware in a midweek contest at Citizens Bank Ballpark. - Wildcat junior Matt Fleishman has paced the offense all season with a .331 average. He had the fifth-longest on-base streak in the conference this season at 30 games. - The Wildcats have lost nine-straight BIG EAST games, being swept by Pittsburgh, Connecticut and Cincinnati in their three previous series. - VU's Kyle McMyne has been one of the top strikeout pitchers in the BIG EAST. He leads the conference in strikeouts per nine innings at 11.10, which ranks 16th in the nation. Seton Hall (19-19, 6-9) at Notre Dame (14-20-1, 5-9) Fri., April 29, 6:35 p.m.: SHU - TBA vs. ND - RHP Brian Dupra (2-4, 2.48 ERA) Watch Live Live Stats Sat., April 30, 2:05 p.m.: SHU - RHP Joe DiRocco (5-0, 1.64 ERA) vs. ND - RHP Cole Johnson (3-6, 3.03 ERA) Watch Live Live Stats Sun., May 1, 11:05 a.m.: SHU - RHP Jon Prosinski (3-4, 2.91 ERA) vs. ND - RHP Todd Miller (3-3, 3.88 ERA)