Baseball Out-Foxes the Foxes (ba-dum-che!)

Over the last two years the UVa program has lost a combined one midweek game (2010 to VMI in Lexington). While they have already matched that lone loss this year with their loss to Liberty a few weeks ago, it appears that midweek domination might be starting to come back. The Hoos hosted the Red Foxes of Marist the last two days and swept the pair in fairly dominant fashion.

You want to have a group of alumni freaking out via text? Have the team fall behind4-1 in the top half of the second inning after taking the lead in the bottom half of the first. The Cavaliers were able to do that to us on Tuesday but were fortunate enough to string together hit in the offensive side of the 2nd andtake the lead back. After that second inning, it was all UVa the rest of the way. The boys would go on to score three more runs thanks in large part to multi hit games from Reed Gragnani, Chris Taylor, Derek Fisher, and Colin Harrington. The offense can be most attributed to the three hit game from Taylor to go along with his two runs and two RBIs. First year Derek Fisher joined in on the fun with his first career home run in the third inning.

On the mound, Branded Kline started for the Cavaliers and (as I said) hit a rough patch early but was able to settle down and give a strong six inning start. Austin Young and Justin Thompson came out of the pen to keep the Red Foxes scoreless over the final three innings and solidify the 8-5 win.

Tuesday was a good win but I wanted to talk about Kline for a second, because I am really starting to feel bad for him. I don't have the exact stats in front of me but it seems that whenever he takes the mound, errors seem to be made behind him. Now, some could attribute that to him walking a team high 14 batters this season which is not helping his fielders stay focused but that really isn't an excuse for such a high caliber program. When those errors are made and more runners are put on base, pressure is placed squarely on the shoulders of the pitcher which could lead to more walks, more runs, and more hits given up. This certainly isn't an excuse for Branden either because he is clearly a better pitcher than his early season stats show.

On Wednesday the boys decided they wanted to put themselves in a hole again going down 1-0 after the top half of the 1st andthen 2-1 after the second inning was complete. (One run is a lot different than three so there was no texting/tweeting uncontrollable and unmentionable things) Again, the Hoos were able to put together an impressive run and scored nine unanswered runs over the six innings including three runs in both the third and fourth innings. That was all the Cavaliers would need to secure the 10-2 victory and the series sweep. At the plate, five players had multihit games including Derek Fisher who tied himself with Chris Taylor for the team lead with his secondhome run in as many days. On the mound, first year Barrett O'Neill made his first start of his career and turned in a gem firing five complete innings while only allowing a lone earned run and striking out four. The bullpen held Marist scoreless over the next four innings and made sure the Hoos came out on top.

Even though the Hooswere able to earn two victories over the last two days, I was a bit concerned at how they were accomplished. Falling behind 4-1 on Tuesday and2-1 on Wednesday was alright because they were able to come from behind andreclaim the lead. Heading in to Tallahassee this weekend and the teeth of their ACC schedule in coming weeks this can't consistently happen. Teams like FSU and UNC will take that lead and won't look back. Marist and JMU will allow this impressive lineup to score runs in bunches but these ACC teams have too good of pitching to rely on large amounts of runs in the late innings.

Not to mention, these errors have to stop......seriously.

Boys take Thursday off before flying down to Tallahassee (charter style) on Friday. Luckily for you andme we don't have to have two heart attacks in one day! We don't have to worry about blown leads or come from behind victories....on the baseball field at least. Cheer on Joey SweetCheeks and Mike Scott on Friday as they will surely cause more indigestion than one person should take in one day. Fortunately for us, we're UVa fans, our hearts are used to it.

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