Coming into this weekend NC St. and UVa were the two hottest teams in the ACC. The Wolfpack were riding high after upsetting UNC the previous weekend in a three game sweep and two midweek wins. Virginia was on top of their game as well as they were in the midst of another winning streak. The Cavs had won seven in a row and were looking to extend their Coastal Division lead.
After rain on Friday, the two teams squared off in a doubleheader Saturday afternoon that would leave everyone befuddled. Let's get the first game out of the way right now. The 'Hoos lost. When Danny doesn't pitch well, the defense doesn't execute, and the offense doesn't produce, that is what is going to happen. Oh well, so after the 6-2 loss the team was 16-3 in the ACC, 38-4 overall, and still the #1 team in the nation. If you freaked out over a single loss please find the closest exit from the bandwagon and do not come back. I can tell you one thing though, those camo hats and jerseys will not be broken out again this year and might be retired for good. Sorry @jmoranxa.
The second game of the doubleheader was a bit more normal for the Cavaliers and their fans. Tyler Wilson gave the 'Hoos another exceptional start and held the Wolfpack to only 6 hits and 1 run over his 6.1 IP. Wilson improved his record to 5-0 and lowered his ERA to 2.51 on the season. Justin Thompson and Branden Kline relieved Wilson and shut down NC St. the rest of the way and secured the victory for the Cavaliers. Kline recorded his 12th save and was in sole possession of 4th place in UVa history for saves in a season. John Barr lead the way for the Cavs at the plate as he was the sole player to record multiple hits going 3-4 and scoring one of the three UVa runs on the night. With the 3-1 win, the 'Hoos ensured they wouldn't be swept and gave themselves an opportunity to win the weekend on Sunday
With the loss in the first game on Saturday, the Cavaliers faced their first rubber match of the year. It was interesting to see how the team was going to react when faced with the possibility of a series loss. Even though they allowed NC St. to come back and make the game interesting, the 'Hoos were able to come out on top. Will Roberts started and struggled a bit but handed the ball off to 1st year Kyle Crockett with a lead in the 5th. Crockett had one of his best outings of his young career going 2.1 IP and only allowing 3 hits and keeping the Wolfpack at bay. Branden Kline relieved 3rd year Justin Thompson who struggled after relieving Crockett. Kline closed out the final 1.2 innings to earn his 13th save of the year and 2nd of the weekend. At the plate, the story for the Cavaliers were the front 4 of the lineup. Each of them had 2 hits and all recorded an RBI.
Even though the Cavaliers did drop a game to the Wolfpack, I imagine they will stay in the #1 position. Going 4-1 in a week should be sufficient for the poll voters. To help matters, South Carolina dropped their Saturday game with Mississippi State. Unfortunately, since LSU and the rest of the SEC won like 40 national titles in the last 10 years and always has at least 3 teams in Omaha, poll voters think the SEC is equivalent to the American League East. I don't expect UVa to drop but I wouldn't be shocked if it happened either.
The boys will host VCU on Tuesday before traveling to Chestnut Hill to take on BC this weekend. The Rams enter with a 16-22 record and should not be too much of a threat to the Cavaliers. Then again, that is what Jay Bilas and Co. said at the start of the NCAA tournament this past year. I'll be providing updates as I can on Twitter, @STLUVaBaseball. And as former UVa baseball All-American and current AAA Gwinnett Brave, Jacob Thompson, told me this past Saturday: "Goooooooooo HOOOOOOOOOOOOS"