It didn't start off well, but as Coach Mac tells all of his players, "It isn't how you start, it's how you finish." Early on, the Cavalier bats were struggling yet again against Hokie pitching. Fortunately, the Hoos have Mike Papi in the lineup who has been a sparkplug nearly all season.
Down 2-0 in the 4th, Papi lead off the bottom half with a single to start the rally. Nick Howard proceeded to reach thanks to a throwing error and was promptly followed by the offensive MVP of the day, Joe McCarthy with a double to score Papi. Brandon Downes followed McCarthy with a sac fly to score Howard and get his 18th RBI of the season.
The Hoos certainly were satisfied with merely tying the game up as 1st year Robbie Coman doubled scoring both McCarthy and Howard for the go ahead runs. That was all the pitching staff would need, but UVa's offense had other ideas. Thanks to bad pitching from VPISU and Joe McCarthy, the Cavaliers would score 5 more runs to secure the blow out.
As mentioned, McCarthy was clearly the MVP of the day, as he went 3 for 4 with a double, a home run, 2 runs scored, and 4 RBI. On the season, McCarthy now has 18 RBI and 23 runs scored. If he can keep this up, it will be hard to keep him off the All-ACC team at the end of the year.
Not to be outdone, the pitching staff continued to do what they do best. 2nd year Josh Sborz came started the game but didn't have his best outing. Only lasting 4 innings thanks in large part to three walks and five hits, he turned the ball over in the 5th to David Rosenberger (who ran into trouble of his own) and 1st year Connor Jones. Jones was the story on the mound as he held the Hokies scoreless over the last 4.2 innings to secure the UVa victory. Those 4.2 scoreless innings ran Jones' ERA to a miniscule 0.89 ERA, best on the team and likely the ACC.
The win gave UVa their 22nd win on the season and 9th ACC victory. Coming into today, they were already a solid 2.5 games up on Miami (really 3 thanks to the tiebreaker) and 3 games on UNC. The win also not only gave UVa their 6th straight series win of the season, but their 8th straight regular season series victory, and 6th straight ACC series victory dating back to last year.
The boys will turn to Bradon Waddell tomorrow as they look for the series sweep against the Hokies.