Mission Mostly Accomplished

UVa Baseball had one thing they had to do this weekend: go down to #5 FSU and take a series win. With a gutsy last couple of innings today, The Hoos held off the Noles 4-3 to scratch out a 2-1 record. This gives Virginia a one game lead on Florida State in the ACC and it captures the tiebreaker between the 2 schools, something that more likely than not will come into play in a few weeks.

UVa Baseball had one thing they hoped would happen this weekend: Clemson to take a few from Miami so the Hoos could regain 1st place in the Coastal Division. That, unfortunately, did not happen. In fact, Miami swept Clemson in very impressive fashion, which now puts the Hoos 1 game back of the Canes, and because of ACC Seeding rules, 3rd in the ACC. Yes that is correct, the #1 team in the country is #3 in the ACC.

Chalk a lot of it up to the crazy ACC rules, but most of the credit should go to Miami. While UVa was winning series, Miami was sweeping weekends. Since the UVa/Miami matchup in Coral Gables, the Hurricanes are 14-1 in conference, while the Cavaliers are 11-4. If Virginia is going to get back into the driver’s seat, they are going to need a little help these next two weekends.

Virginia has two matchups with teams right in the middle of the conference: the final ACC homestand with Georgia Tech and a road trip to Wake Forest. You could argue that Miami’s road is a little more difficult with a trip to Duke, who surprisingly sits in 4th in the conference seedings then a home matchup with UNC, who are trying to get out of the play-in game. In addition, FSU has @UNC and Duke to close the year, so it would seem that if the Hoos can win the last 6 games of the year, they can move up to 1st place.

Is it all that important if they are in Pool A or Pool B? Usually it would, but this year it is so spread out that what path looks better: a group with Clemson AND Duke or a group with Miami OR FSU. Without a true double-elimination tourney, it becomes anyone’s game. I hope the ACC will take the clue from the SEC in that regard, now that an extra day of games are added to the conference tourney.

What is more important is UVa staying high in the eyes of the NCAA selection committee. With the national race being wide open, a high seed will be paramount again this year. Several projections have the Hoos anywhere from 1 to 4, which is where we need to be. Sweep the last 2 series and a strong showing in the ACC tourney should keep us right there. Hoos drop a weekend set then anywhere from 4 to 8 are fair game. It would really take a lot for Virginia to drop farther, so let’s not even go there yet.

Bottom line, pitching needs to remaining stellar while the bats, which have been slightly better, continue to warm up. Otherwise, enjoy the huge series win.

 

Hamilton Riley

About Hamilton Riley

Mild mannered contractor by day, sports blogger by insomnia.

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