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Baseball Weekend Preview: Villanova Wildcats

Virginia Media Relations

After notching their first win of the season on Tuesday against the visiting VMI Keydets, the Virginia Cavaliers return to Davenport Field to welcome the Villanova Wildcats.

The Wildcats haven’t gotten off to a great start this season, going 0-3 last weekend against Pitt, Milwaukee, and George Mason. They’ve had a rough run the last three seasons as well totaling a 9-39 record last season after going 14-33 in 2017 and 20-32 in 2016. The program also hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 1991 or a winning season since 2012.

Villanova does have a historical winnings record against UVa having beaten the Cavaliers in 1904 and 1907, though the Hoos got the first game in 1904. Different players these days so not much familiarity there.

As evidenced by their record, the Wildcats had significant struggles last year. Those struggled appeared on the mound at the plate with Villanova ranking 292 out of 300 in batting average (.227) and 193rd in ERA (5.19).

Thus far, though they’ve only played three games, they have four players batting over .400 with SS Dylan McNary batting .833 with five hits and six at bats. Only two players have more than ten at bats through those three games, but OF Chris Rotondo is sporting a .462 average and .769 slugging percentage in 13 at bats, including two doubles and a triple.

At this point, the Wildcats haven’t announced their starters for this weekend, but none of last weekend’s starters made it more than 4.2 innings, and all gave up four or more runs. It really was a rough weekend for Villanova last week as only one of their nine pitchers that toed the rubber did not give up at least a run. Similar to UVa’s staff, they also had a problem finding the zone with every pitcher recording at least one walk and averaging eleven walks a game.

This should be a good opportunity for the Cavaliers to right the ship. The win against VMI started that process, but a series win should do wonders for the team psyche.