Coming into the weekend many thought Army was one of the weaker 4 seeds in the country. They gave the Cavaliers all they could handle today in one of the most hard fought games you will see in the opening round games today. Fortunately for UVa fans, the good guys were just a little bit better on the mound and at the plate.
The story of the game is without a doubt Brandon Waddell. The First Year continued his excellent season with another impressive start. When the offense wasn't able to get to Army's ace, Waddell shut the door on the Black Knight offense for seven innings of one run ball. Brandon only gave up that lone run on three hits while striking out eight. Most impressive was not issuing a single walk his entire outing.
In the 8th, with the Cavaliers leading 2-1, Waddell handed the ball over to Kyle Crockett. Of the eight batters that Crockett would face over the final two innings, four of them would be retired via strikeout. He did give up two hits, but didn't walk anyone in closing out the final two innings and recording his 11th save of the season.
The offensive stats for the Cavaliers are a little misleading. While they did come out of the game with nine hits and three walks, they only had two runs to show for it. Even in the 5th inning, where the Hoos did their damage, they had bases loaded an 0 outs, and were only able to come away with one run. Not executing bunts or not doing the job might work this weekend, but I can't imagine the results will be the same next weekend, should they advance.
Most of the credit has to be given to Army's ace, Chris Rowley. The Senior through roughly 12321 pitches and held UVa to only two runs on eight hits while striking out three. His WHIP wouldn't be all that great, but when the Hoos were putting pressure and looking to blow the game open, Rowley bared down and made the pitches to get out of the jams. Much respect to Rowley because that was a heck of a final outing for the Black Knight.
It wasn't all terrible though, Kenny Towns recorded a double, triple, and scored a run, while first year Joe McCarthy woke his bat up with three hits and a walk in his three at bats. Nate Irving helped Towns spark the bottom of the lineup with two hits and a run of his own.
The Cavaliers won't know who they're playing til later tonight as they'll play the winner of the Elon - UNC-Wilmington game tomorrow night at 6. Let's hope the pitchers pitch as well as they did today, the bats wake up a little, and Elon and UNCW play a 20 inning game.