Coming off a rough weekend the Hoos will look to get on with the winning ways today as they host William and Mary in the home opener at Davenport Field. The Hoos won a little bit, lost a little bit, and even kissed their sister a little bit this past weekend in Myrtle Beach. The 1-1-1 record gives the boys the third worst record in the ACC right now, but we all know it is too early to look at the standings.
The Tribe enter the midweek tilt with a 2-1 record after they took the series this past weekend when they hosted Rhode Island. Senior RHP Matt Davenport will take the mound for William and Mary in his initial appearance this year. Although he hasn't seen the mound this year, he struggled a bit last year. In 68 innings he compiled a 6.22 ERA and a 2-7 record. He struggled last year but was an All-CAA selection in his sophomore year with an 8-2 record an 1.82 ERA. He is tall and lanky at 6-8 but the Hoos should be able to handle the challenge.
At the plate, William and Mary has been paced by Senior INF Tadd Bower. Bower had four hits this past weekend in eleven at bats. He didn't have any RBIs which says he is more of a tablesetter but scored two of their seven runs. After looking at their stats from this season, William and Mary looks to be very aggresive at the plate. They don't walk a whole lot having only earned 7 walks while striking out 17 times. The Cavs' pitching staff is going to have to take advantage of that aggressiveness and make the Tribe earn every base.
For the Cavaliers, third year JUCO transfer Joel Effertz will take the mound for the first start of his Cavalier career. Joel did appear this past weekend in Myrtle Beach with a scoreless inning against Coastal Carolina on Saturday. Fans should be able to take solace in the fact that Effertz has been on a fairly big stage before. He spent his freshman year of college at the University of Arizona before transferring back home to the Madison Area Technical College. He was also drafted this past year by the Chicago White Sox in the 43rd round. This kid can pitch a little bit.
I expect UVa to win and win fairly easily this afternoon. After last night's basketball game I need an easy win. Joel and the bullpen will take advantage of the aggressiveness while Stephen Bruno is going to break out with a huge game.
Official prediction: UVa 6 - W&M 2
As always, follow the game on twitter (@STLUVaBaseball) and as we know William and Mary's most famous alum Thomas Jefferson would say: GO HOOS!