This baseball season has been confusing, frustrating, fun, and downright ridiculous at times. Ya know, just like every Cavalier fan expects every sport's season to go. Except tennis, I swear they're on the ATP tour and playing high school sophomores every weekend.....until the finals of the tournament when USC turns in to a bunch of Rafas and Rogers.
Tonight the Cavaliers will welcome intrastate rival Radford to Davenport Field in a battle of two of the most favorite players to ever wear the UVa baseball uniform. Radford's assistant coach is UVa's 2nd favorite Werman, Kyle. Kyle graduated from UVa in '05 after a successful 5 year career as a Hoo. He even came back and spent a year with us at UVa as the team's graduate assistant in 2008. Of course, Kyle's brother is Charlottesville's favorite baseball player of all time, Keith Werman.
Radford's other assistant coach is Brian Anderson who was a graduate assistant in Charlottesville for a few years before taking the job with the Highlanders when Joe Raccucia took over in the fall of 2007.
Historically the Cavaliers have treated the visitors from Radford like red-headed step children (Apologies to red headed stepchildren. I actually like redheads!). The Hoos own a 17-3-1 against the Highlanders since the beginning of the rivalry in 1988. The last loss took place in 2001and the team has been 6-0 since Coach O'Connor took over. Last year the boys from UVa won the game in Charlottesville 2-0 while winning at Radford 12-0.
This year, Radford has a 23-16 overall and an 8-4 record in the Big South. Most notably, the Highlanders have only lost a single series in conference play which came three weeks ago at the hands of Coastal Carolina. Last weekend, Radford traveled to Winthrop and took two of three while only dropping the Saturday game 8-9.
As a team, Radford has been quite impressive. They have a .296 batting average while featuring 5 players with over a .300 batting average in their normal starting lineup. Their pitchers have not been nearly as impressive having a 4.35 team ERA. It appears their two weekday starters have an ERA over two although they did not announce who they would be starting tonight.
I expect the Hoos to win the game but for it to be closer than we all would hope for. Kyle Crockett takes the mound and needs to limit walks while the hitters need to stay on top of their game like they did in the double header on Saturday at Duke.
I will do my best for updates on Twitter (@STLUVaBaseball) and of course GO HOOS!