Those of you that had given up hope on the Cavalier baseball team turning in a successful season can breath easy! I'd be lying if I didn't have a few thoughts in March that this year was going to be a disaster and the team might miss the postseason for the first time since 2003. Lucky for me, I don't have to worry about that! Stephen Bruno has begun to stroke the ball, the bullpen has become dominant, and Derek Fisher is stealing more hearts in Charlottesville than Joey Harris has (I'm sorry Joe! So sorry!)!
Right now the Cavaliers sit at 31-14 overall and 14-10 in the ACC. With eight games left including six in the ACC against Georgia Tech and Maryland, it looks like the boys will likely finish fifth or sixth in the conference. That finish will all but assure UVa of a spot in the NCAA tournament. I haven't looked it up, but I would but just about any amount of money on my hunch that the 5th and/or 6th place finisher in the ACC has never been left out.
In the rankings department, the Hoos are just inside the top 25. In Baseball America's most recent Top 25, UVa moved up two spots from last week to sit in the 21st spot. Perfect Game moved up the Hoos four spots to #22, the Collegiate Baseball poll has them at #23, the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association poll has the boys ranked #21, and the Coaches' Poll at 22nd (weirdly a spot behind Miami which makes a whole lot of sense).
Depressed by those rankings? Not sure why I sounded so giddy in the first two paragraphs? Wait til you see these RPIs. The NCAA released its official RPIs today and had the Hoos 12th overall! Only FSU and UNC are ahead of UVa from the ACC, with NC St just behind at 13 and Miami checking in at 16. Boyd's World's RPI rankings has the Cavaliers actually at 10 overall. Mr. Boyd also says that UVa is assured a top 32 finish and could finish in the top 8 if they go 7-1 the rest of the way. The final RPI rankings come from Warren Nolan who has the Cavaliers pegged at 12th overall.
Since those RPIs are out and about, two of the major baseball websites like to run bracket predictions. Good news for both of you readers out there that are UVa baseball fans: the Hoos might be hosting! Perfect Game, who ranks UVa at #22 right now, gives UVa a regional and sends UGA, Washington, and Monmouth to Charlottesville. More interesting is that PG matches the UVa regional up with the Columbia, SC regional aka a possible UVa-USC rematch (my heart hurts already). ESPN also predicts the Cavaliers hosting a regional with Appalachian St, St. John's, and Monmouth coming to town. Either way, Monmouth will be in Charlottesville in the beginning of June. Welcome Hawks!
The boys return to the field tomorrow night as they host High Point in their first game back since their exam "off" weekend. I'll be previewing that matchup some time tomorrow morning. Til then, go Hoos!