O’Connor’s team soars in 1st ACC test at home
Friday evenings at Davenport field this season have been a relaxing, calm atmosphere to watch Virginia baseball. Not tonight. The first ACC series of the season brought an intense anticipation to the stadium that fans haven’t seen yet this year, and the Cavaliers delivered by defeating Miami 4-1.
“Our players are playing very aggressively in all facets of the game – pitching, defense, baserunning, and swinging the bats offensively,” Virginia coach Brian O’Connor said. “It was a great overall win.”
The Cavaliers are amidst an unprecedented season, where they started the year with an all-time high No. 9 ranking. After taking two out of three from the North Carolina Tar Heels last weekend, Virginia carried its momentum to the biggest game of the season thus far at Davenport field. The Cavaliers executed one of their best performed games of the season, tagging Miami for the first run of the game in embarrassing fashion. Junior Patrick Wingfield scored on two consecutive stolen bases as Miami pitcher Eric Erickson threw the ball to center field while trying to pick off Wingfield at second.
Virginia sophomore Jacob Thompson (6-0 1.83) was lights-out all night. He pitched eight innings, allowing one run on four hits striking out a career-high 10 Hurricane batters.
“My curve ball was working really well,” Thompson said. “The main thing was just getting ahead of batters and really going after them.” The ninth inning brought to the hill Virginia closer Casey Lambert, who ended the game by striking out three of the four batters he faced. The Cavaliers ran onto the field to celebrate their victory as fireworks shot off from behind the right field wall.
The Cavaliers continue their series with Miami Saturday at 1pm Saturday and wrap it up Sunday at noon. Although the Cavaliers say they look at things one game at a time, fans have set their sights high on the 2007 postseason. After advancing to the regionals in 2006, a trip to Omaha and the College World series could be in the cards.