Riding a three game winning streak into this weekend, the Cavaliers will face their toughest test of the 2017 season.
#2 Louisville has spent time in the #1 spot and only has one ACC loss on the season; a 3-1 loss to NC State last Friday. Outside of that loss to NC State and a midweek loss to Cincinnati, there aren’t any other blemishes on the Cardinals’ schedule this season.
Truth be told though, Virginia could be the biggest test for Louisville as well as their out of conference schedule was not very impressive.
Since Louisville joined the ACC a few years ago they have had the Cavaliers’ number amassing a 5-2 record, including a sweep of UVa in Charlottesville two years ago. The two teams split 4 games last season with the Hoos dropping two of three in Louisville, but getting the final laugh with a win in the ACC Tournament in May.
The Cardinals will feature one of, if not the best rotations in the country. Brendan McKay, Kade McClure, and Nick Bennett have a combined 10-1 record and all feature ERAs below 2.50. They also combine to strikeout more than a batter per inning.
After the starters, the pen doesn’t get easier. The pen is held down by Lincoln Henzman who has a 1.84 ERA, 5 Saves, and is holding opponents to a .128 average. Getting a lead against the Cardinals is difficult, but gaining a lead after Henzman takes the mound is even harder.
Two-way player and Friday starter Brendan McKay also leads them in batting average at .431, but they also feature 6 more batters batting over .300 on the season. Thus far, they are leading the ACC in batting with a .321 team average, which places them 13th nationally.
In a strange move, Coach O’Connor is also moving Noah Murdock to the Friday starter role, removing Daniel Lynch. Lynch had a rough outing last week, but Murdock is 1-1 with an 8.22 ERA in just 7.2 innings. It is unclear if this is a permanent move or if Lynch is possibly injured.