UConn baseball faces Duke in NCAA Tournament: How to watch, what to know

The UConn baseball team is making its 25th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and it’s 10th since 2010 and sixth in a row, starting with a first-round match against Duke in the Regional at Norman, Oka., Friday at 1 p.m.

The Huskies (32-23) came on during the second half of the season, dominating the Big East in conference play, to position themselves for an at-large bid. When they lost to Xavier and Georgetown to make a quick exit from the conference tournament, they were on the bubble, but heard their name called during the Selection Show on Monday.

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UConn is hitting .276 as a team, led by Korey Morton (.318), won of four Huskies in double figures in home runs. Righthander Ian Cooke (4-1, 4.20), the Big East pitcher of the year, is expected to start vs. Duke.

Here’s what you need to know:

Norman Regional

Teams, seeds: 1. Oklahoma, 2. Duke, 3. UConn, 4. Oral Roberts.

Schedule: Duke vs. UConn, Friday at 1 p.m.; Oklahoma vs. Oral Roberts, Friday at 6 p.m.

How to watch, listen: The UConn-Duke game will be televised and streamed by ESPN+ and broadcast on Fox Sports Radio 97.9 FM, and 1300 AM.

Format: Double elimination. The winners of Friday’s games play on Saturday. The losers also play Saturday in an elimination game. If UConn were to lose Friday or Saturday, it would have to win two games Sunday to force a winner-take-all final game on Monday. The winner of this Regional plays a best-of-three Super Regional against the winner of the Florida State regional.

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UConn history: The UConn baseball program went to five College World Series between 1957 and 1979, but not since the current 64-team tournament heavy with power-conference teams from the south and west, was started in 1999. UConn, as a member of the original Big East, the American Athletic Conference and the new Big East, has been in the tournament 10 times since 2010. The Huskies have emerged from Regionals at Clemson in 2011, losing the Super Regional at South Carolina, and won the Maryland Regional in 2022, losing the Super Regional at Stanford.

About Duke: Duke (39-18) won the ACC tournament, a league that sent eight teams to the tournament. Duke is in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time since 2016. The Blue Devils are hitting .312 as a team with 112 home runs. Ben Miller (.375, 15 homers) and Zac Morris (.328, 18 homers) are the top sluggers. Chad Knight, a former Connecticut player of the year from Staples High in Westport, is hitting .316 in 18 games as a DH. Reliever Charlie Beilenson leads Duke in wins (7-3), ERA (1.98) and innings pitched (59) and strikeouts (87) in 32 appearances.

About the others: Oklahoma (37-19) is the ninth overall seed of the 16 hosts, won the Big 12 regular season title, but lost to OK State in the conference tournament. The Sooners his .313 as a team, led by Easton Carmichael (.362). Oral Roberts (27-30-1) won the Summit League’s automatic bid.

Fun fact: The games will be played at Dale Mitchell Field. Mitchell (1921-87), who played at Oklahoma and then in the major leagues from 1946-56, was a .312 career hitter best remembered for his second-to-last MLB at-bat, a check-swing strikeout to end Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series.