It certainly didn't start well, but it isn't how you start, it's how you finish.
The Cavaliers began their faceoff with Richmond yesterday with back to back walks issued by starting pitcher Joel Effertz. Effertz was quickly lifted by Coach O'Connor for Shane Halley. This is the third time in as many weeks that the Hoos' starting pitcher of the midweek game has given up runs in the top of the first inning. Last week against GW, like Effertz, UVa's Barrett O'Neill did not make it out of the first inning before being relieved.
After the third out was finally recorded, the Hoos faced a 3-0 deficit and had their work cut out for them. Luckily, Richmond's pitching was on the same caliber as UNC and the Hoos were able to mount a comeback. In the bottom half of the first inning Stephen Bruno began his hot night and helped the Cavaliers regain the lead 4-3 heading in to the 2nd inning.
The game went back and forth with both teams scoring a run in the third and the Spiders tying up the game at five in the sixth inning. In the bottom half of the seventh inning the Hoos were able to scratch across two more runs via the safety squeeze to cement the 7-5 victory.
Thanks in large part to Bruno's 3-5 night and two runs scored the Hoos were able to squeak out the victory. I have said this many times and I will say it again, getting down early is allowable in midweek games against teams that are of a lower caliber than the Cavaliers, but this cannot happen in the ACC play. As we saw this past weekend against UNC, runs are hard to come by against a top flight pitching staff.
Hoos travel to Duke this weekend to play in their favorite park outside of Charlottesville and take on the Blue Devils. Till then, GO HOOS!