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College Baseball Countdown: 65 Days to Go- Anthony Kay

Coming into the 2015 season, the UConn Huskies couldn’t be quite sure whether or not they would have a true staff ace on their hands. They had some quality arms returning for the season, but no one who flashed ace material in 2014.

At a certain point during the course of the 2015 season, they found out that they not only had an ace on their hands, but that they had two of them. Carson Cross, who was a quality starter in 2013 before missing all of 2014, came back better than ever and finished 10-2 with a 2.29 ERA, striking out 108 in 106 innings as a redshirt senior. He is now pitching in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

The other was Anthony Kay, who had been solid, if unspectacular, in a swingman role in 2014. In that season, he appeared in 18 games, with 8 of those being starts. He had a 5-4 record with a 3.49 ERA. In 67 innings, he struck out 56, but he also struggled with command and walked 40 hitters as well.

So it must have been with great pleasure, then, that head coach Jim Penders and staff ended up with a co-ace on their hands who performed as well, and perhaps better, than Cross. By the end of the 2015 campaign, Kay was sporting a 2.07 ERA with a 96/25 strikeout-to-walk ratio in exactly 100 innings of work. Additionally, opposing batters managed to hit just .202 against him. His outstanding season was enough to earn him First-Team All-American Athletic Conference honors when it was all said and done.

Certainly, it’s huge for the Huskies to have Kay coming back for the 2016 season because they’re going to need him to be every bit of the ace that he was in 2015. In addition to Cross moving on to pro ball, fellow starting pitcher Jordan Tabakman, who had a 16-12 record and 3.37 ERA in 269.1 innings for UConn over his four years, has graduated.

Help may come in the form of Andrew Zapata, a highly-touted recruit from a couple of years back who has started 18 games over his two seasons on campus, but make no mistake about it; if UConn is going to get back into regional contention in 2016, they will almost certainly need Kay to keep pitching at such a high level.

Our college baseball countdown is well underway! If you’re behind, get caught up by heading on over to our index page here.

UCONN head coach Jim Penders

UCONN head coach Jim Penders - Photo Don Miller CBC

Joe Healy was first introduced to college baseball when he grew up watching the likes of Jeff Niemann, Philip Humber, and Wade Townsend pitch for Rice University. To say it was love at first sight would be an understatement. That love only grew as he went off to college at Sam Houston State University, where he practically lived at Don Sanders Stadium watching his Bearkats under the direction of the legendary Mark Johnson. He holds a B.A. in political science from SHSU and is working toward his Masters in Public Administration from SIU-Edwardsville in Edwardsville, Illinois.