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Flames Burn Cavalier Baseball

First off let me say how awesome I am with that headline. Through my tears, frustration, and fear I was able to come up with some so witty as that?! You guys are so lucky to have such a hacky blogger for the baseball articles. Now, I will wipe the tears off the keyboard and attempt to write something comprehensive about yesterday. Let us all remember that I really don't want to talk about it to begin with.

It started on the mound for Liberty and in the batter's box for UVa. Two hits. One of which came in the 9th inning when the game was clearly out of reach. That was all the Hoos were able to muster yesterday. I have read a few comments from people who were at the game about how Liberty's pitchers were impressive yesterday. All three of the Flames' pitchers who took the mound yesterday were Juniors or older. Including their second pitcher, Blake Forslund, who was a member of the 2009 UVa team. Blake has progressed wonders since his time in Charlottesville and it seems that the Liberty pitching coach is doing great things. Truth of the matter is, two hits is likely not going to get it done against anybody. Cavalier hitters only struck out five times and did walk four times but when the opposing defense doesn't make errors, more hits are going to have to fall through.

Which leads to the other deciding factor in UVa's play on the field yesterday; defense. In all of my time being acquainted with the UVa baseball program, good defense has been a mainstay. Coach Mac prides himself on having a solid defensive team and must be agonizing over some of the errors he has seen in the field so far this year. Four errors yesterday lead to four unearned Liberty runs. Sure, the Cavaliers would have likely still lost were it not for those four errors, but I imagine a lot of you would be more comfortable with a 4-0 final score rather than an 8-0 final score. Hell, those errors aren't made, Liberty is only up 2 or 3-0, they start playing tight, and the game could have turned.

All in all, it sounds like yesterday wasn't UVa's day. Sometimes you are the bug, sometimes you are the windshield. Liberty played an excellent game that likely would have beaten just about anybody in the country. I am not going to make excuses for this baseball team but when the team in the opposing dugout pitches like the Phillies, hits like the Yankees, and plays defense like the Braves while you kick the ball around, it isn't going to end up well.

The other thing I have heard a lot of fans say over the years is "well, they need to take more batting practice" or "I hope they're doing more infield outfield tomorrow at practice." I can assure you that Coach O'Connor and Co. are not doing anything different than what they have done the last nine years. I believe what this team needs is more game experience and that is only going to come from playing four or five times a week. These players would not have been recruited by UVa and other top tier programs if they didn't already know how to play baseball so let them play.

This year could be a bit more rough than what many have grown accustom to the past three years with two ACC championships, two trips to Omaha, three Super Regionals, and an ungodly amount of drafted players. It could be rough now but next year when all of these guys are second and third years.

Hoos return to the field on Friday in a four game weekend series against Seton Hall and Wright State. I'll be previewing that on Friday. Until then, let's focus on what we should be excited about: Mike Scott and Sammy Z's final game at JPJ on Thurs against FSU. How many fadeaway jumpers from just inside the three point line can Mike make? How many threes can Sammy miss make? Let's hope they win and assure that coveted four seed. Until then, you stay classy Charlottesville and Go Hoos!