The Cavaliers kicked off the 2015 season is dominant fashion last week showcasing their top pitching staff by holding East Carolina to just 5 runs over the three games. It was such a showing that the NCBWA moved the Hoos up from #2 to #1.
This weekend, UVa travels to Charleston to play host to Marist and throw in a game against LaSalle. LaSalle was originally scheduled to be in Charleston this weekend to take on Charleston Southern; UVa and LaSalle will play at Charleston Southern Saturday morning.
Neither team has much of a history with the Cavaliers. This weekend will be the first time that UVa squares off with the Expolorers (LaSalle), while it will only be the sixth time in school history that the Hoos will play the Red Foxes (Marist). All five games against Marist have come under Coach O'Connor's helm, with the last meeting coming in two midweek games in 2012 (UVa won both 8-5 & 10-2). Overall, UVa has the 5-0 series lead against the Red Foxes.
Marist will open the season this weekend in Charleston, so not much is known about them (granted, not much is known about anyone at this point). Last season, they compiled a 10-14 record in the MAAC and went 17-32 overall. They return a good chunk of their pitching from a year ago, but had a 4.88 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP as a team, so take that for what it's worth. What could spell disaster for the Red Foxes is that they were only able to hit .242 as a team last year. Add a .320 slugging percentage and a .347 on base percentage to that, and facing UVa's staff could be daunting this weekend.
LaSalle enters the weekend on a bit of a hot streak. The Explorers took two of three from Stetson last weekend and looked impressive doing so, holding the Hatters to just six runs over the three games. Most impressive was the performance LaSalle had at the plate, putting up 21 runs on the weekend, including 11 on Saturday. They'll feature five guys batting over .300 on the season, including Senior Josh Savakinus who was 6-13 with 2 runs scored, 4 RBI, and 3 doubles last weekend at Stetson. They'll send to the mound Senior LHP Freddy Andujar, who was touched up a bit last weekend over five innings. Freddy's stats last year aren't much better going 0-7 in 3 games started and a 14.40 ERA, but if he's a soft throwing lefty, all Hell could break loose for UVa.
From a Cavaliers perspective, it will be interesting to see who gets the ball on Saturday afternoon. Kirby, Jones, and Waddell are scheduled to start their normal games, but with a fourth on the schedule, Coach O'Connor will have to give someone else some weekend experience.
There is no reason to expect a let down for the Cavaliers this weekend. The pitching should be dominant yet again and the offense should do more than enough for the Hoos to come out 4-0 on the weekend and 7-0 overall.