After stumbling last weekend in a hard fought series at the kryptonite-infused NC St Wolfpack, the Hoos return home to take on fellow top 5 team, Georgia Tech. This is another prime-time college baseball match up and if you are keeping track at home this would be the Hoos 4th HUGE weekend series match up of the year(out of 7 weekends).
If the UVA baseball team had a twin brother with the exact same characteristics it would be these Yellow Jackets. Much like the Cavs, the Jackets are lead with strong starting pitching, great hitting, and stellar defense. Sounds like they cant be beaten right? I think that is what teams say when they have to play the Hoos as well.
On the mound GT is lead by Junior and future first round pick Deck McGuire. McGuire hails from Richmond where he attended Deep Run high school (Alma mater of my bud and former Cav Baseball great Brad Grove). McGuire has a great 5-1 record this year in 7 starts with his only loss coming to the surprising Maryland Terrapins. His ERA is actually better than our Danny Hultzen's! Granted, Danny has a 1.57 ERA while McGuire has a 1.53. That means this Fridays game is arguably the best starting pitching match up of the season. The other two starting pitchers for the Jackets(Jed Bradley and Brandon Cumpton) are impressive as well but dont quite have the numbers that McGuire has.
At the plate the Jackets are equally as impressive as their Cavalier counterparts. Of their 9 starting position players, SEVEN of them are batting over .350 and are lead by Sophomore infielder Matt Skole. Even though they don't have the highest batting average, the jackets are really lead by Junior Derek Dietrich and Senior Tony Plagman, both of which will be tough outs for the Hoos. Tidbit of information: If there is one player in the ACC that I can not stand it is Derek Dietrich. The kid thinks he is gods gift to baseball and is entitled to everything. There are countless stories recounted to me about him boasting of how awesome he is and how big his ego is. That said, he still is pretty good.
If you are planning on going to the games this weekend I would suggest you get there early as everyone in Charlottesville is starting to recognize how good this team is and I would imagine there will be record crowds to see this great match up. As for my prediction this week I think I said the Hoos would win one game at the beginning of the season but I want to change that and say the Cavs will take 2 of the games and win the series. After last weekend, Coach O'Connor will not let this team get down on themselves and will make sure they are ready for a fight. Even though these teams are similar in many ways they are different in one of the most important aspects: toughness. Georgia Tech is known to be prissy whiny which is the complete opposite of what the Hoos are known for. That factor is what is going to get the Cavs through this weekend and allow them to take the series.