It's like déjà vu all over again this weekend for UVa baseball.
Instead of Charleston or Myrtle Beach, the Hoos will head to Cary, NC to play on Team USA's home field as they'll take on Pitt for their ACC opener.
The Cavaliers are one of only two remaining undefeated teams in division 1 (Texas A&M is the other), so UVa will have their hands full trying to maintain that recognition.
Before we get deep into this year's preview, let's remember what Nathan Kirby did for UVa last year against Pitt. Spoiler alert: he threw UVa's 5th no hitter.
Since Pitt only joined the ACC last year, UVa does not have much of a history with the Panthers, but they were able to win the series last year two games to one. Those were Coach O'Connor's only experiences with Pitt, but UVa has played the Panthers six other times, holding the edge 7-2.
Pitt hasn't done much yet this year compiling a 3-6 record and losing to every BCS conference opponent they've faced and dropping their series last weekend to VCU in Myrtle Beach. They haven't accomplished much, but not much was expected of this Panthers team; they were picked to come in last in the Coastal in the preseason coaches poll and just ahead of Virginia Tech in the d1Baseball ACC projection.
Overall, the Panthers' rotation hasn't been much to write home about, but their Friday and Saturday starters have put up some good numbers thus far. TJ Zeuch has an impressive 1.86 ERA and a sub-1 WHIP over 3 starts this year. He also averages over a strikeout an inning, so let's hope he's a hard throwing righty. The other half of Pitt's dynamic duo is Jr. RHP Aaron Sandefur who has a 2.57 ERA and 1-0 record over three games and two games started.
At the plate Pitt has relied mainly on Aaron Schnurbusch and Charles LeBlanc, who are both batting over .370 (Schnurbusch is batting .417!). Even though both have such high batting averages, it appears they set the table for Jordan Frabasilio. Frabasilio has already put up three home runs, a triple, and 7 RBI this season. Not surprisingly, he has a slugging percentage of .556, which is second on the team behind Schnurbusch's .583.
Even though both the ptichers' and hitters' statistics seem strong, Pitt's fielding has been their Achilles' Heel. The Panthers are only fielding .950 on the season which has lead them to give up two times the amount of runs than earned runs (22 to 44). If I am Pitt's pitchers I. AM. PISSED.
If this weekend was in Charlottesville I'd say UVa shouldn't have any problem sweeping the Panthers. But it's not, it's in who knows where North Carolina. I feel for this Cavaliers' team, I really do, because playing at UVa is something these young players need to experience. With that said, I am confident UVa wins the weekend. I am not sure if they'll sweep because I am concerned about the offense, but they should have no problem taking at least two of three.