We are combining this week’s baseball and lacrosse preview into today’s post for a couple of reasons. First, the Hoos opponents this weekend aren’t particularily tough. Secondly, as we will post tomorrow, I will be gone Friday and need to wrap up this weekends articles today. So here’s the two-fer.
The Hoos continue down the road this weekend after the amazing perfect game from Will Roberts on Tuesday with the 4th ACC series of the season at rival Virginia Tech. The Hokies, like the Terps, are not a very good baseball squad. Actually, they might be a little worse. Virginia Tech is 14-12 on the season and 1-8 in the ACC. With the exception of wins over Indiana and Boston College, all of their wins are over mid-major teams. They also have a handful of bad losses to Bryant (twice), Niagara, and Boston College (twice). They were also swept by Miami and UNC this season, but that comes as no surprise.
They are offensively a little better than Maryland, batting .274 on the season, but they have some pop with 28 HRs on the season. But chalk up that stat to Tech playing in one of the smaller ballparks in the ACC, and all but 3 of them coming in non-conference play. They are led by UTL Andrew Rash and IF Tim Smalling in the heart of the order. VT is also one of the worse defensive team in the conference (fielding at .969), which the Hoos like to exploit. The pitching report is not much better. The weekend starters all have ERAs over 2 in Friday starter Joe Mantiply (2-4, 5.02 ERA), Saturday starter Marc Zecchino (2-3, 3.82) and Sunday starter Joe Parsons (4-1, 2.43). If I were the Hokies, which I will NEVER be, I would flipflop that rotation to give them the best shot at more than one victory. But as it lies, the Hoos know this is another chance at a sweep and, while it is away against a rival, a series win is likely with a sweep not out of the question.
This weekend’s lacrosse game pits the #4 Hoos against #10 Maryland. Maryland is a lot like Hopkins, in they are a very good defensive team. But they are also like us, in they are desperate for a win. The Terps are 6-2 on the season with a quality win over Georgetown and losses to Duke and UNC. They will play the possession game with the Hoos and try to get them in a hole early and ride it out. The Hoos need to do three things to win this game: get the face offs, don’t turn the ball over, and have a great outing by the defensive line. Those have been the Cavs bug-a-boos all season. But this game is at home, and on top of that, the first one in Scott Stadium in 16 years. Look for a ruckus crowd and a Hoos win.