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Baseball Impresses in Alabama

Coming into the weekend many expected the Cavaliers to be successful but not many saw them being as good as they were. Strong pitching and timely hitting have allowed the Hoos to be competitive with everyone in the country and this past weekend was no different. Starting pitching combined for 18.2 innings and only gave up one run on ten hits while striking out 22. The hitting was no different combining for 39 hits and 27 runs. It is a great start to the 2011 campaign to win a series on the opening weekend but even better to start off 3-0.

College baseball pundits, coaches, and players around the country knew coming into the year that Danny Hultzen was going to be one of the top players in the nation. He certainly didn't disappoint in his first game of the season. Danny went a strong 6.2 innings striking out 10 Blazers while only giving up one earned run on three hits and one walk. 2nd years Whit Mayberry and Branden Kline closed out the game for Hultzen. Kline closed out the 9th striking out the two batters he faced and getting his first of what should be many saves on the year. Four Hoos were just as impressive at the plate as the staff was on the mound. Chris Taylor, Keith Werman, Danny Hultzen, and Dave Coleman all had multi hit games and combined for 9 of the 13 hits and 4 of the 6 runs scored. 

Coming into the weekend I am not sure whether I expected a bit more out of the Auburn baseball team or I underestimated our Cavaliers. Either way, I am glad my prediction of a Cavalier loss to the Tigers could not have been more wrong. Tyler Wilson turned in the best start of his short starting pitcher career giving up 3 hits and 2 BB in 6 innings while not conceding a run. Will Roberts started his 2011 campaign off on the right foot throwing a scoreless 7th and 1st year Ryan Ashooh got his feet wet in the 8th and 9th innings. Let me know if you've heard these words before: Danny Hultzen had a great game. I don't mean to gush too much or brag that I know him but yea, Danny is the man. He had another great game at the plate with three hits in 5 plate appearances racking up 3 RBI's and scoring a run. Chis Taylor, Keith Werman, Stephen Proscia, and Jared King also had multi hit games and scored at least one run. The Tigers were no match for the Cavaliers on Saturday and turned the heads of many in the country that even though this is supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Cavs, they are going to be a force to be reckoned with.

For many teams Sunday could have been a let down game coming off such a strong win over an impressive opponent. Fortunately for us, thats not the way Coach O'Connor and Co. rolls. Cody Winiarski picked up where he left off last year throwing a shutout over his 6 innings and allowing 3rd year Justin Thompson and 1st year Kyle Crockett to close out the victory. Chris Taylor and David Coleman close out the weekends the way they began. Each recording a multi hit game.

The 3-0 weekend was a great was to begin the season for this fairly young Cavalier baseball team. Chris Taylor showed why he was so successful on a limited basis last year and Keith Werman continued to give Charlottesville a reason to love him. I know I am a homer but if Danny Hultzen continues to play the rest of the year like he did this past weekend I do not see a reason for him not to be a finalist if not with the Golden Spikes award. The boys take on VMI this week and I expect Will Roberts to be on the mound for the Cavaliers. As always, I'll provide updates on twitter @STLUVaBaseball and GO HOOS!