I love college baseball.
Bird: Tech's on a pretty good roll right now with a 16 game win streak in the books already and a 22-6 overall record. How does it feel being #1 in most baseball polls? What is the overall state of the UVA baseball program? Do you consider baseball the flagship program of UVA athletics?
Brendan: We've been ranked #1 before. Most fans seem to be taking it in stride and repeating the mantra that polls don't get you to Omaha. It's better than a sharp stick in the eye, but it's basically window dressing. As for being the flagship program, I'm not sure we really have one. If we do, it's probably lacrosse right now since UVA is a relative newcomer to the baseball scene but remains lacrosse royalty. Baseball is generating enough interest to become our third sport to turn a profit, so there's that. The foundation has been laid for long-term success.Bird: Tech's got 8 batters batting over .300 in 2011. Who stepped up to fill Robert Morey's hole in the weekend pitching line up? How has the new guy performed thus far?
Brendan: The new Saturday starter is Tyler Wilson, who moved to the rotation from long relief. It's been a perfectly seamless transition. With a 1.90 ERA and 55 strikeouts against just 11 walks, Wilson would be the Friday starter on almost any team in the ACC.Bird: There aren't many chinks in the armor of a 2-loss squad. What cost UVA the games against FSU and ECU?
Brendan: The FSU series was strange. It couldn't have been any closer. All three games went to extra innings and any of them could've gone either way. One hit by either team at any point and things would've been different. Cody Winiarski took the ECU loss with 5.1 outstanding innings and one lousy one, and the bats came alive just a little too late.Bird: 191 RBI's but only 7 homers? Tech has 18 homers on the season. Who hits more homers in this series? Where is the power in the UVA lineup?
Brendan: There isn't any. Most of the power graduated. When asking who'll hit more HRs, the answer is usually not us. Brian O'Connor is just fine with that; we just outscored Virginia Tech 37-8, in which all eight Tech runs came from home runs and we hit just one three-run shot. O'Connor loves station-to-station ball and wearing down opposing pitching staffs with a death by 1,000 paper cuts approach. If anyone's going to hit a home run it'll probably be 1B/C John Hicks or 3B Steven Proscia, but the emphasis won't be on the long ball and they're both more likely to bunt than swing for the fences.Bird: Prediction for the series?
Brendan: UVA wins 2-1, with GT scratching out a low-scoring win on Saturday or Sunday against the UVA bullpen. Danny Hultzen eats terrified GT freshman second baseman Mott Hyde alive.Thanks goes to Brendan. Go Jackets!