It’s been a rough year for the Virginia Cavalier baseball team. After opening the season ranked in the Top 15 and starting off with a 3-1 record, they hit a rough patch losing their first five ACC weekend series.
With just 18 games left in the season and a 16-15 record overall, all hope is not lost though. They’ve taken two of three at Georgia Tech and Clemson to claw back to relevance, but still feature an 8-13 ACC record.
While obviously not ranked, they do have the No. 52 RPI in the country, good for 7th in the ACC and up 19 spots from just a week ago. They also have had a tough strength of schedule up to this point having already faced ranked teams in Florida State, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, and not ranked but still formidable programs in Miami and UNC.
Having won their last two weekends, if they want to continue the good feelings and get back in to NCAA Tournament consideration, winning this weekend’s series against the ACC leading Louisville Cardinals will go a long way.
Sitting at 20-10 overall, a 12-5 ACC record, and a No. 7 ranking by D1Baseball, Louisville is the cream of the ACC crop in 2021 having not lost an ACC series since their ACC conference opening series in March at Georgia Tech.
Louisville pitching is decent, but not great ranking 6th in the ACC with a 4.34 ERA, though allowing opposing hitters to bat just .237 against them. Their main issue has been command where they are last in the ACC allowing 4.77 walks per 9 innings.
No, this weekend’s series is going to be won or lost depending on how UVA’s staff can do against the high powered Louisville offense. They lead the ACC in average (.296), on base percentage (.392), and third in the conference with a .468 slugging percentage. They’re also tops in the conference in runs scored (215), third in walks (139), and light years ahead of everyone in stolen bases (83, 2nd is BC with 38).
It is going to take stellar starts from Abbott, Vasil, and Savino for the Hoos to win their third straight series, but a return to form has been shown the last few weeks and they should be up to the challenge knowing their postseason hopes could ride on this weekend.