It has been about nine or ten years since UVa baseball fans had to deal with a .500 record or worse after the initial weekend of the season. We're in new territory UVa fans, but I see bright times in the not so distant future.
Saturday the Hoos ended up having to play a doubleheader against host Coastal Carolina and interstate rival James Madison due to inclement weather that ended up not even waiting til Sunday! As Michelle Tanner would say, "How wude!"
In the initial game of the day, the Chanticleers (that's right, named after Chaucer's character in the Canterbury Tales). The Cavs put on by far their best performance of the weekend against the team who many regarded to be their best competition. Starting pitcher Whit Mayberry had his best performance since UNC in the ACC tournament last season throwing 6 innings, striking out 4, giving up only 2 earned runs, and not issuing a single walk. The bullpen closed out the game giving up only one run on two hits the final three innings. At the plate, 4th year Jared King paced the team with four RBIs, 2 runs, and 3 hits including a three run home run in the seventh inning. The Hoos ended up winning 9-3 to improve to 1-1 on the year and raced over BB&T Coastal Field after the game.After traveling across Myrtle Beach, the Hoos arrived at the Myrtle Beach Pelican's stadium to take on the Dukes in the final game of the weekend. JMU entered the game coming off two losses to BC and Coastal. Scott Silverstein took the rubber for the Hoos and pitched a solid five innings giving up 2 runs (1 earned) while not surrendering a hit. Neither team was very good at the plate, but unfortunately UVa's defense assisted JMU in staying in the game. The UVa pitching staff only gave up three hits and four runs but only earned two of those runs.
The bats that caught fire late in the Coastal Carolina game cooled down a bit in the nightcap. Nobody in the lineup was able to record a multihit game but Colin Harrington paced the offense with two RBIs and a run scored on a hit and a walk. The bright side of the Hoos at the plate was that they were able to earn five walks and only struck out a single time. I mentioned in the recap of the BC game that they were going to have to limit their strikeouts while earning more walks and they were able to do that late Saturday. The boys ended up with a tie against JMU and I have no doubt they know their defense let them down.
I imagine most are looking at the 1-1-1 record and asking "What?! WHY?!? Thank GOD we have lax!" (again, looking at you Brian) but I still don't think the sky is anywhere near falling. If you look at the game they lost and tied, passed balls, wild pitches, and errors lead to a loss and a tie. I will contribute these to nerves being the first weekend. Remember, there is a good amount of inexperience on the field and it takes a few weeks to let the nerves settle and get back to just playing baseball.
Fortunately, the next few games on the schedule should be an opportune time for the young players to get used to the field and the veterans to show them how to do that. Hoos take on William and Mary in the home opener on Wednesday and will look to right the ship and get in to a winning groove.