Coming off a week and a half long break for exams, many expected UVa's baseball team to show signs of rust and struggle with the hot Carolina Tar Heels. While it appeared a few guys struggled this weekend, the Hoos prevailed when it mattered most and swept UNC in dramatic fashion.
After Friday's game was postponed till Saturday afternoon due to weather, the Hoos knew that it was going to be a long day at the Dav. Danny struggled a bit with command throughout the day and could never quite match his strike zone up with the umpire's. Although he never really had it, his "off" day included him going 5 innings and only giving up 1 run on 3 hits (I know a lot of pitchers who want those off days). Branden Kline came in and showed why he is one of the top pitchers in the country by only give up 1 hit over the next 3 innings. The bats scored a quick 2 runs off UNC ace Matt Harvey in the first two innings but could never muster another run until it mattered most. After UNC tied the game up in the top of the 9th, Parker lead off the bottom half with an infield single. He was then moved over by Tyler Cannon on a sacrifice and was able to score on a 2-out 3-2 count single by John Barr and win the first half of the doubleheader.
The 2nd game of the afternoon can be described in three words: Robert Morey Dominance. I am sure I said it this week but it needs to be said again: Bob (as I like to call him) turned in one of his best outings as a Cavalier. Throwing his second straight complete game, Morey only gave up 1 run by allowing 3 hits and 2 walks. The first hit that the Heels got wasn't until the 6th inning. (Aside: Brad Grove and I were debating how good Morey was since Brad felt that Morey was getting hit hard nearly every inning. Obviously, my comeback was that he hadn't given up a hit [at the time] so what difference did it make?) The batters were paced by John Hicks and Phil Gosselin who both homered to give the Cavs a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Sunday's game was where the Hoos showed why they are one of the best teams in the country. After Cody Winiarski started on the mound for UVa and struggled through 3.2 innings, Tyler Wilson came on and shutout UNC over the final five innings keeping the Cavs in the game. After being down 3-0 going into the 6th inning, Dan Grovatt and Jarrett Parker both homered to pull within a run. Down 2-3 going to the bottom of the 9th, Steven Proscia lead off with a single to put the tying run at first. After another single by Parker and a horrible throw by the cutoff man, Proscia was on 3rd and Parker at 1st with no outs. On the second pitch of the at-bat, a hanging breaking ball by UNC closer Colin Bates, Hicks hammered a long line drive to left field that clipped the inside part of the foul pole and gave the Hoos the win and the sweep. (It was UVa's first walk off since David Adams beat GT in '07. That game was one of my favorite games in my time on the UVa baseball team.)
With the sweep and GT taking two of three from Miami, the Hoos have a 2 game lead going into the final weekend for the Coastal Division title and the #1 seed for the ACC tournament. I also need to admit that I pegged the Hoos to only win two of three this weekend and something that would have happened had it not been for that damn John Hicks (I kid of course) but I think my great record is still intact. The Cavs play their final home game tonight as they host VMI and look to take revenge for their only midweek loss that came at the hands of the Keydets a few weeks ago. As always, I will try and provide updates when I can on twitter @STLUVaBaseball and GO HOOS.