Connecticut senior second baseman LJ Mazzilli has repeated as an All-Big East Conference first team selection. And sophomore Carson Cross, the starting pitcher for the Huskies Wednesday night when UConn opens play in its final Big East tournament, was named a second-team selection when honors were announced Tuesday night.
Connecticut opens play in the BIG EAST Conference tournament as the No. 8 seed on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. against regular season champion Louisville (ESPN3, WTIC.com, WHUS-91.7 FM).
Mazzilli, from Greenwich, Conn., was honored by the Big East for the third time in his career. He earned first team honors in 2012 and second team honors in 2011. Mazzilli leads UConn in hitting this season with a .362 average and also leads the Huskies five home runs and 45 RBI. He is second in UConn history in career hits with 287 and is hitting .435 in his last 20 games with hits in 19 of them. He is also the UConn career leader in triples and has had hitting streak of 15 and 10 games this season.
Cross brings an 8-4 record with a 2.55 ERA into the contest against Louisville. He has recorded 80 strikeouts this season in 132.2 innings of work and has walked just 21. In his most recent start, he picked up his eighth win of the season on Sunday against George Mason, giving up two runs in six innings. He picked up Big East wins this season over Rutgers and Georgetown and has a complete game effort in a loss to St. John's.
Louisville righthanded pitcher Jeff Thompson was chosen as Big East Pitcher of the Year, while USF righthander Jimmy Herget was unanimously tabbed as Rookie of the Year. Pittsburgh coach Joe Jordano, who led the Panthers to a school-record 40 wins in the regular season, was named Coach of the Year.
The tournament's opening ceremonies and awards presentations were held Tuesday night at Bright House Field, followed by the third annual Big East Home Run Derby at 8 p.m. Mazzilli represented the Huskies in that event.