By Cindy Weiss, CLAS Today
After a cold, rainy New England spring, the UConn men’s baseball team found some sun, winning a spot in the NCAA tournament and advancing two players to the major leagues.
Pitcher Matt Barnes, a political science major and a longtime Yankees fan, was a round one, 19th pick for the Boston Red Sox. George Springer, a history major and a center fielder, was the 11th pick and went to the Astros. He is one of the top hitters in UConn baseball history.
The players learned of the draft during their 14-1 tournament win against Clemson in South Carolina; the team advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals, where it lost to South Carolina.
Both players won Big East honors this spring, also. Barnes was named Big East Pitcher of the Year and Springer picked up Big East Player of the Year honors.
They are the first first-round draft picks from a UConn baseball team since 1988 when pitcher Charles Nagy, an economics major, was picked in the first round by the Cleveland Indians. Nagy later played for the San Diego Padres and is now a pitching coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The moral of the story: The liberal arts and sciences nurtures critical thinking skills, a good fast ball, and a sharp eye for the fly ball.