After their eight day break to allow the boys to "study" for their exams, the Cavaliers return to the field tonight at the Dav to host the High Point Panthers.
As most of you will remember, the Cavaliers are coming off a three game sweep of Miami down in Coral Gables. Not only did they sweep the Hurricanes for the first time ever, they were riding a four game winning streak entering the series. That seven game winning streak has helped UVa extend their record to 31-16-1 and 14-10 in the ACC which puts them in second behind UNC (16-8) in the Coastal division.
High Point on the other hand has had its fair share of hard times in the past few games. The panthers are riding a six game losing streak and have only won three of their last 16. Save this terrible stretch of games, the Panthers were doing pretty well but now they stand at 23-24 overall.
The game tonight will also mark the first time that Coach O'Connor has played High Point. The only other matchup between the two schools came in 2001 with UVa winning 18-7.
High Point will send Junior RHP Jacob Newberry to the mound to face UVa's hot hitting lineup. Newberry hasn't won a game in his last six starts, which dates back to the middle of March. He also has not lasted longer 3.1 innings in his last two starts against Coastal Carolina and UNC Asheville. In his 11 starts this season, he has a 3-5 record and a 4.61 ERA. He doesn't strike out too many batters (41) or walk too many (15) so the Cavaliers will be able to put the ball in play and put pressure on the Panther defense.
At the plate, the Panthers are actually pretty competitive. They have a .272 batting average that features five guys (burgers and fries) with averages over .280 including Sal Pezzino who has a .362 average. They don't take too many walks statistically, but don't appear to strike out too much either. The Cavaliers pitching staff will have to fill up the zone and allow that defense behind them to take care of its business if they want to be successful.
Scott Silverstein will be getting a spot start tonight to hopefully get some of his confidence back and I can't see the Hoos falling tonight. High Point should be a competitive team but this Cavalier team has seemed to hit its stride. Hoos win fairly easily tonight while building momentum in to the weekend against Georgia Tech.