After getting the last week off to complete their final exams the Cavalier baseball team returns to action this week to host the rather hot Carolina Tar Heels.
The Heels come into the game riding an 8 game winning streak that included a sweep of ACC foe Wake Forest last week and a win in their Clemson series 3 weeks ago. Although they are desperately missing the key ingredients that have carried them to the College World Series the past 4 years in Dustin Ackley and others, this is a good and underrated team. Levi Michael, Mike Cavasinni, and Ryan Graepel all were strong players last year for Carolina in their run and have picked up where they left off last year with strong performances this year. Their pitching staff is held down by Friday night starter, Matt Harvey. The hard throwing right hander comes into tonight with a 6-2 record and a 2.68 ERA. Couple those stats with the fact that he has 80 strikeouts on the season and he will be one of the toughest starters the Hoos will face this season.
Many people have made a big deal over the break that the NCAA mandates for exams and how it will affect the team. While it is true that the record coming off of the break the past few years has been lacking, I can tell you that the team is not in a funk of any type. They have practiced nearly every day and all the pitchers have maintained their endurance by throwing on the days they usually pitch on. If anything, it was a great break because it gave Kevin Arico, Tyler Wilson, and other pitchers a chance to rest up and get ready for the final push towards Omaha.
As for this weekend, I think that the Hoos will be able to take at least two of three from Carolina. The Heels have struggled a bit this season and I can imagine the last team they wanted to see on their schedule was UVa. As always, you can follow along with updates on twitter @STLUVaBaseball as I will be giving live updates from the front row of The Dav this weekend. If you see me (if you could recognize me) say hey and tell me what you think of my amateur attempt at baseball insight. Go HOOS and WAHOOWA.
Wait, I almost forgot! This weekend the lax teams play on both Saturday and Sunday as does the baseball team. Even though the Dav has added extra seating I would get there early because it is going to be an absolute zoo all weekend in that area. They're trying to set attendance records this weekend so come out and support the boys.