Coming in to the weekend the Hoos were riding a 12 game home winning streak and looking to make a statement by extending it to 15. Even though Wake didn't have the impressive record to strike fear on the national scene, they had stolen a game from UNC and FSU while playing nearly all of the games competitive. History was also on the side of the Hoos as they had not lost a series to the Demon Deacons since 2007.
On Saturday, the Branden Kline show that started a few weeks ago continued. Kline was dominant in yet another quality start that the Cavaliers needed. Over the course of his seven full innings of work, he struck out eight while only allowing five hits and three earned runs. By the time Kline left the game after the seventh, the game was all but in hand for the Cavaliers as they lead 8-3. The win gave Kline his 5th of the season and ties him for second most int he ACC with a slew of other guys and one win behind Mike Compton of FSU. Austin Young closed out the game for the Cavs over the last two innings only allowing one run on three hits while striking out two.
A great sign at the plate on Friday was the night Stephen Bruno had. Bruno is finally starting to get really hot and he showed it by going 3-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Chris Taylor continued to pace the offense with his fourth home run of the season and Derek Fisher tied Jarrett Parker's 2010 campaign and UVa single season record with his eighth triple of the year. As Fisher gets a little bigger and gets more adjusted to college pitching, I imagine those triples are going to turn in to home runs (drooooooooolllllllll).
While Saturday was more of a one man show with Branden Kline, Sunday was a Johnny Wholestaff day. Scott Silverstein started off the game and was only able to go 4.1 innings before handing the ball off to Shane Halley who assured the win. Silverstein only gave up one run on three hits and three walks but just didn't seem to have it and appeared to be struggling a bit with his command. When all was said and done, that run Silverstein gave up in the first was the only run that Wake would get. Justin Thompson was able to close out the final inning with a scoreless frame and secure the victory and his fifth save of the season.
If Coach O'Connor wasn't thinking about Branden Cogswell going in to the weekend, he surely was after Sunday's victory. Cogswell went 2-4 with a double and a triple to earn two RBIs and runs scored. Cogswell was the only Cavalier to register a multi hit game, but a three run third inning was more than was necessary to earn UVa a 4-1 victory and its 13th straight victory at the Dav.
As the whole nation looked on Monday night (everyone and their mother was watching ESPNU right?), the boys were looking to secure their second sweep of the ACC season. Even though the fell behind 2-1 after the third inning, the top half of the lineup was able to carry the Hoos. Chris Taylor and Colin Harrington both had multiple hits and runs scored. Stephen Bruno added on to the other two at the top of the lineup with two hits and RBIs of his own. Before the night was over, the Hoos had registered 11 runs on 11 hits and not a single home run. That is some serious UVa baseball.
Kyle Crockett was the story of the night for the bullpen. After Artie Lewicki only gave the Hoos 3.1 innings, Crockett came in and shutout the Deacons over the next four innings. Crockett doesn't strike out many but he also doesn't walk or give up many hits. Crockett's mainstay from the left side coming out of the bullpen is going to be an important factor in UVa's success down the road. Even though the final score was out of hand in the end, Justin Thompson had the biggest performance of the night, coming in with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth. Thompson got a strike out and a ground out to end the threat and the inning. Because of the 5-2 lead he inherited in the eighth, Thompson was able to earn his sixth save of the season.
The boys extended their home winning streak to 14 on the season and moved their record to 22-10-1 overall and 9-6 in the ACC. That 9-6 record is good for a tie with UNC for 2nd in the ACC Coastal division. That showdown the two have this weekend in Charlottesville is going to be a key one for both teams.
The boys have the day off tomorrow before returning to the field to try and extend their home winning streak to 15 against George Washington. Til then, GO HOOS!