Nice win for the Virginia baseball team yesterday over Coastal Carolina. Ordinarily, a victory over Coastal Carolina in any sport wouldn't be considered much to write about, but the baseball Chanticleers are pretty darn good:
Coastal Carolina's baseball team is not accustomed to losing. Then again, not every day do the Chanticleers face an opponent ranked No. 1 nationally by Baseball America.
This week that team is UVa, and the Wahoos (35-9) showed why Tuesday night. Thanks to Phil Gosselin's second-inning grand slam, Virginia never trailed in a 6-3 win over 10th-ranked Coastal before 2,260 fans at Davenport.
Brian O'Connor's 300th victory as the Cavaliers' coach ended the Chanticleers' 17-game winning streak. Coastal (36-6) hadn't lost since March 28.
"We definitely were jacked up to go against those guys," said UVa catcher John Hicks, who went 2 for 4 and threw out two baserunners.
"They're a very good ball club, and you could definitely tell in the clubhouse before the game that we were ready to go, we were excited for it."
The team is looking really good right now; I'm anxious for the postseason to get here. I'm also excited to see the development of Branden Kline, who got the start against CCU and looked great. He's just going to be a stud next year, that's all.
I understand Coach Brian O'Connor's disappointment; this was a brutal loss:
Inside, the Virginia skipper was stewing about the one that got away. His Cavaliers came within one strike of sweeping the visiting Hokies in the three-game set, but instead the Cavs came unraveled in the ninth inning and dropped an 8-5 decision.
In the process, his two most reliable relievers, Kevin Arico and Tyler Wilson failed in the clutch, allowing Tech to score five runs in the top of the ninth for the win.
Until then, the day had gone pretty well for the Wahoos. Playing before a third consecutive sellout crowd of 4,219, Virginia had found a way to beat the heat of Hokies starter Jesse Hahn, who hit the 96 mph mark with regularity on the day. Sunday starter Cody Winiarski had handcuffed Tech’s batting lineup, scattering four hits and issuing no bases on balls. Reliever Branden Kline gave UVa two flawless innings of relief and centerfielder Jarrett Parker seemed to have rediscovered his batting groove with a 3 for 4 (two RBI) day, including a home run.
Losing a game like that is always a punch in the gut, but losing to the Hokies in this fashion...well, that's another thing entirely. Am I the only person who still isn't comfortable when Arico comes into the game? He kinda scares me far too often.
Still, let's keep it in perspective. The Hokies aren't a bad team -- they are ranked in the top twenty -- and the Hoos did take two of the three games. Yes, a sweep would've been nice, but that happens. The Hoos are going to have to put it behind them, because they have some work to do to keep pace in the ACC. They can't let Georgia Tech and Miami get too far ahead.