The Hoos traveled to Richmond on Wednesday to take on another intrastate rival in the VCU Rams. Even though the game was in jeopardy til the very end, the Hoos were able to steal a victory thanks in large part to first year Derek Fisher.
Fisher launched a one out two run home run in the ninth inning to break the 5-5 tie with the Rams and secure the Cavalier victory. The ninth started with the Hoos staring down a one run deficit when Chris Taylor lined a single up the middle. Taylor advanced to second on a wild pitch and then scored on a Stephen Bruno double to tie up the game.
UVa's closer Justin Thompson had come in at the beginning of the 8th inning so there was no doubt as to who would pitch the 9th. JT was able to hold VCU hit-less in the 9th to assure the Hoos their victory and earn his 4th win of the season and 2nd in two days!
The win gave the Cavaliers their 28th on the season and moved their record this year in games against intrastate rivals to 9-2-1 with only one more game against VCU in Charlottesville left on the schedule.
With their 28th win of the season and 12 games left on the schedule the Cavaliers have to be feeling pretty good on making the NCAA tournament. Although the ACC slate isn't all that easy the rest of the way out with Miami, GT, and Maryland, the two midweek games next week against High Point and Mount St. Mary's means they should at least get to 30 wins fairly easily. They stand at 11-10 in the ACC which is 6th in the conference. Looking at Georgia Tech and Wake Forest's schedule to end the year, I think the Hoos will head to Durham at the end of May with the 6th or 7th seed.
Most importantly the win last night gave Coach O'Connor his 400th win in his career. Of course, he had not coached before he came to UVa so all of those wins have been on the Hoos' behalf! If the season ended today and UVa didn't win a single game the rest of the year, Oak will still have averaged 44 wins every season since he arrived in Charlottesville. Before the season even started O'Connor was 2nd all time in wins at UVa. Now, Coach is 194 victories behind Dennis Womack who was head coach of the Cavaliers for 23 years. If he really wants a record, he can sweep the ACC slate the rest of the year and tie Coach Womack for most ACC wins which is 168.
The boys have Thursday and Friday off as they will be traveling to Miami to take on the Hurricanes. Da U has had a great season so far and both teams will be looking to cement their seeds for the ACC tournament. Look for that preview to come some time Friday!