Posted: 10:23 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, 2013
By Will Campbell
If you have heart problems I recommend you stop paying attention to UVa baseball. They've decided that instead of scoring a boatload of runs in the early innings and keeping the game in hand the entire time, it is much more fun to fall behind early (most of the time by a lot of runs) and score runs late to win the game.
Such was the case on Wednesday when the Hoos fell behind by the third inning only to storm back in the final innings to take the lead, give it back, tie it back up, and then finally win the game thanks to a leadoff Brandon Downes double and a Jared King single in the tenth.
Artie Lewicki started his second game back from Tommy John surgery and gave up a run in the first. Josh Sborz came on in relief and struggled as well, surrendering four runs on four hits in 2.2 IP. If you were hoping it would get better when Nathan Kirby came on in relief, you would have been wrong. Kirby gave up another two runs on seven hits. Austin Young faced a batter and didn't give up a run before Whit Mayberry took over and gave up two runs in 1.1 innings. AND FINALLY, Kyle Crockett came on finally and shutout ODU over the final 2.2 innings.
To the pitcher's credit, only five of ODU's nine runs were earned thanks to three errors by the fielders. Still, five runs is borderline unacceptable to a staff with one of the best ERAs in the country.
It was a team effort at the plate with six Cavaliers registering hits including Jared King going three for five, including the winning single with two outs in the tenth. Even though King had himself quite a game, Mike Papi was certainly the headliner. Papi showed yet again while he has one of the clutchest bats on the team in the 7th inning. With the Hoos trailing 8-4 Papi stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and launched his sixth home run of the season and tied the game up.
ODU pulled ahead again in the eighth inning before the Cavaliers stormed back with a run of their own because of an ODU infield error.
These games are fun and full of drama, but shenanigans like this don't fly against the top programs that UVa is going to have to face if they want to make an Omaha run this year. You can't fall behind a team with a good pitching staff and hope to comeback every time. It just doesn't happen.
That said, the Hoos welcome the Seminoles to Charlotteville this weekend in the premier baseball matchup in the country.