We've seen, and discussed, the offensive problems facing this UVa team due to their lack of depth in the lineup. Fortunately, the pitching staff has been dominant enough to keep those problems hidden with pitching gem after pitching gem.
But when a midweek game is on the schedule, and Kirby, Waddell, or Jones aren't taking the rubber, the Hoos are going to need a few more underclassmen to step up and fill those roles.
Unfortunately, that didn't happen Tuesday night as UVa (finally) hosted Old Dominion for the home opener. Seven pitchers took the mound, and only two of them did not surrender at least one run. Now, three of them were First years, one was a Redshirt First year, and one was a Second year, so experience wasn't exactly on their side, but I guarantee Coach O'Connor and Coach Kuhn find no relief in that.
In all, they gave up 14 runs on 17 hits. Although they did give up 17 hits, the good news is that only four of them were doubles. However, perhaps the worst stat that Kuhn and the staff will look at from last night's debacle were the nine(9) (8 BB and 1 HBP) walks surrendered. For a coach that preaches pitching to contact, I imagine Coach Kuhn didn't get much sleep last night.
If there was a bright spot from last night, the offense did actually provide it. The lineup put up five runs on ten hits and three walks. Second year catcher Matt Thaiss had himself a ball game with a double, a Home Run, two RBI, and two runs scored. The Home Run propelled him into (at least) an eleven way tie for the national lead with six on the season and might have given him the ACC lead (conference stats have not updated yet).
Oh, and that First year, Pavin Smith, who has torn everything up so far? Two for five with a run scored, lowering his average to .417 on the season.
The Cavaliers return to action this weekend as they'll head to Blacksburg to take on the 7-9 (1-2) Hokies.