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Cavaliers Fall to Terps 5-4

In a game that looked like the Hoos to win early on, Maryland comes out on top thanks to some untimely UVa hitting.

USA Today Sports

14 left on base, Nathan Kirby only lasts 4.2 innings, Terrapin web gems, and Maryland gets ten hits. That's a recipe for a Virginia loss if I've ever seen one.

Fortunately, it seems that UVa might have seen the best Maryland has to offer. Their ace only allowing 3 runs over 6 innings. Their middle infield robbed numerous base hits that would have likely lead to UVa runs. And their bullpen only allowed a single run over the final 3 innings. Give Maryland credit, they brought their A game and UVa didn't. The Terps deserved to win.

Kirby struggled early and often allowing a leadoff double to begin the game that turned into Maryland's first run of the ball game. He would go on to allow four more runs to score in only 4.2 innings, the shortest of the year for the ACC Co-Pitcher of the Year. Kirby seemed to struggle mostly with his control. There were countless 2 strike sliders that were left up in the zone, and Maryland hitters took advantage of them.

The Cavalier hitting was certainly there most of the game, just at the wrong time. Brandon Downes had two 1 out doubles that UVa was unable to take advantage of. In the end they would strand 14 runners on base. In the Super Regionals, that cannot happen. Particularly against a team that has such strong pitching like Maryland does.

If you were watching the game you know that the turning point of the game came in the 1st. With the bases loaded and only one out the Maryland CF robbed Kenny Towns of a basehit and caught Mike Papi at home due to poor base running. The blunder lead to at least one missed UVa run, the difference in the ballgame.

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of this game was the "wasted" efforts of Mike Papi and Whit Mayberry. Papi went 3-3 with two walks. He also had a run and an RBI to add. Yes, he cost UVa the run early in the game, but he seemed to have made up for it with the other opportunities he gave to the rest of the team that UVa was unable to cash in. Mayberry on the other hand closed out the final 4.1 innings and held Maryland scoreless. He held the Terps scoreless and to only three hits. Coming out of the pen, Mayberry was crucial.

It is particularly disappointing for Mayberry because he ended the day having thrown 60 pitches. He is certainly unavailable for tomorrow's game, and likely will not be able to pitch Monday, if UVa can force a game three. If that's the last we see of Whit Mayberry, it has been a great ride and Whit pitched his balls off.

Most will likely panic because UVa lost the first game to Maryland. That's the way the game goes, but it is certainly not the end of the world. It seems like Maryland played nearly perfect from the 3rd inning on, while UVa wasted opportunity after opportunity at the plate. UVa has the deeper staff and should be able to keep the Terp offense to a similar output the rest of the series, while we all know the Cavaliers are capable of much more.

Brandon Waddell will be the starter for the Hoos tomorrow. UVa needs a good outing from the 2nd year and more timely hitting.

Game is at 12 PM on ESPN2