The Cavaliers traveled to Blacksburg over the weekend to play the ACC bottom feeder Hokies. Coming in to the weekend everyone with basic knowledge of college baseball expected the ‘Hoos to dominate on the mound and at the plate while sweeping the Hokies easily. Hokie fans didn't know Tech had an actual baseball team anymore. Well, UVa didn't disappoint and swept VPI&SU while outscoring them 37-8 overall.
The ‘Hoos wasted no time establishing their dominance on Friday blasting out 17 unanswered runs by the 6th inning after falling behind 2-0 due to an Andrew Rash home run in the 1st. Virginia's starting pitcher, Danny Hultzen, settled down after the home run and struck out 7 over the 6 innings he pitched. Certainly not Danny's best start of the year but he was able to secure his 6th win of the season that put him in a tie for 2nd overall in the ACC (GT's Mark Pope has 7). 2nd year Whit Mayberry came on to pitch the last three innings striking out 4 and only giving up 1 run on 2 hits while earning his first save of the season. The Cavaliers offense was the true story of the game scoring 18 runs on 16 hits. 15 different UVa players registered plate appearances and while four of those had multiple hits, 5 didn't have a hit the entire game (unacceptable)! The boys were also able to take advantage of 11 walks issued by Hokie pitchers and 2 errors in the field to score those 18 runs and demolish the Hokies.
Saturday's matchup was more of the same for the Cavaliers. The Hoos jumped out to a 7 run lead after six innings and never felt threatened by the Hokies who were only able to cut the lead to 4 after a three run 8th. Tyler Wilson had one of his best starts so far this year striking out 10 over seven innings without giving up a run. 3rd year Shane Halley followed Wilson and struggled a bit, giving up three runs in 2/3 of an inning before fellow 3rd year Justin Thompson came on and shut the door on VPI&SU. The Hoos were able to put together 9 runs in large part to Dave Coleman's four hits including his first home run of 2011. Coleman also scored two runs and had a team high five RBIs. Steven Proscia added to Coleman's great day by getting three hits and scoring two runs. After all the damage was done, the Hoos won 9-3 and secured the series.
The Cavaliers decided to be boring on Sunday and did the same exact thing they had done the previous two days; beat down VT. Four Cavalier pitchers combined to hold the Hokies to 2 runs on 8 hits, including 4th year Cody Winiarski who threw 5 scoreless innings and earned his fourth win of the season. The offense powered to 10 runs on 11 hits and benefitted from three BBs and two Hokie errors. 7 Cavaliers had RBIs on the day and 6 of them scored runs in the 10-2 victory.
With the Sunday victory, the Hoos clinched their 5th sweep of the year in the first 7 weekends. The win also moved them to 28-2 overall and 11-1 in the ACC. The 28 victories in the first 30 games is the best start in UVa program history. Thanks to a Duke victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday, UVa and GT are now tied atop the ACC and the Coastal Division setting up a showdown between the two in Atlanta this weekend.
The Hoos host Radford on Tuesday and will look to extend their winning streak to 10 straight. Former Cavalier and older brother of current Cavalier Keith, Kyle Werman is one of the assistant coaches on staff for the Highlanders. The other assistant coach for Radford is former UVa volunteer assistant Brian Anderson. While I don't expect the Hoos to struggle too much with the Highlanders, the pitching and hitting signs will have to be changed which could pose a problem for some of the younger Cavalier players. As always, I will be providing game updates via Twitter @STLUVaBaseball. And of course, as die-hard UVa fan Eric Bradbury (@EricBradbury) says "Go HOOOOOOOOOSSSSS!"