As you all know, the Cavaliers take on Maryland this weekend in a Super Regional for the second time in as many years. Since UVa did not have to take on the Terrapins during conference play this season, we need a refresher as to what their lineup looks like.
As Danny Neckel broke it down for us, the Terps do have better overall stats than the Cavaliers, but let's take a closer look as to who in their lineup does that damage.
Before we get too far, for full disclosure, I am going to ignore the power numbers. If anyone has been to Shipley Field, Maryland's home field, they'll know why.
Junior Kevin Martir is the Terps leader on the field, and at the plate. The catcher leads the team (for qualified batters) with a .339 average, and has only struck out 30 times in 223 at bats. He's also got a .502 slugging percentage and has a .434 on base percentage to go with his impressive average.
The other two hitters the Cavaliers are going to have to keep an eye on are Lamont Wade and Brandon Lowe; both are batting well over .300 and helping pace the Terp lineup. Unfortunately, Wade is one of the hottest hitters left in the NCAA tournament. The junior outfielder had a hit in every game of their regional, batted .400, hit two home runs, scored 2 runs, and had 2 RBI.
Meanwhile, Lowe is batting .329 and leading Maryland with a .545 slugging percentage and 53 RBI. Fortunately, Lowe is the yin to Wade's yang in terms of recent hitting. He only had one hit in California last week, a double in their first game against Ole Miss, and went hitless in the final three games. If UVa can match UCLA's scouting report on Lowe, they can limit the damage of the "best player in the regional."
As a team, their weakness could be their aggressive attitude at the plate. On the season, they've struck out more than seven times per game, while only walking four times a game. Last weekend in their three games against UCLA they struck out nearly eight times a game, and walked only twice. Granted, UCLA's staff is considered one of the tops in the nation.
It'll be interesting to see how the Cavalier staff handles the Maryland offense. The Terps have great offensive numbers, but it's unclear how much can be attributed to the Big Ten schedule they played this year (scoring, home runs, and slugging all up from last year).
If UVa can get solid starts from Jones and Waddell, and limit the time between their innings and Sborz, the Cavaliers stand a good chance to play next week in Omaha.
If Wade, Lowe, and Martir have their way with the Cavalier staff and allow the other Terp hitters to get on base. It could be a quick and painful weekend for the Hoos.