It's a sad time. Beesball season is just about over. It's not all sad, though. By some miracle, after ending the season poorly, the Jackets managed to sneak into the ACC Tournament.
Last year, seeded ninth, the Jackets miraculously won their way to an ACC title with their pitching staff. I remember fondly in the ACC Championship game, the combination of "Trusty" Dusty Isaacs and Sam Clay pitching an absolute masterpiece.
Unfortunately, they're both gone. Instead, our offense has been carrying the team. Following last season of having no player hit more than four home runs, Tech has had two players (Kel Johnson and A.J. Murray) hit at least 10, which is a huge improvement, especially with Johnson missing a little bit of time with an injury this season.
Adding to that offense is Matt Gonzalez. After starting off in a massive slump, Gonzo turned things around and finished with a strong season, finishing with a .289 batting average and five home runs, not to mention his 10 stolen bases and 42 RBI.
Two more guys that have improved a lot since last season are sophomore outfielders Ryan Peurifoy and Keenan Innis, who happen to be the top two guys on the team in batting average.
Starting the game for the Jackets will be redshirt sophomore left-hander Jonathan King. King was the Friday starter for Tech the entire season and was easily on eof the top pitchers on the team, especially towards the end of the season. According to ramblinwreck.com, King has been very impressive over his last four starts. In his 34.2 innings pitched in those games, King allowed seven runs, four earned (1.04 ERA).
Virginia has been a pretty impressive team this season. Even though they don't have a double-digit home run guy, they have five guys who are all hitting above .300 and have at least four home runs.
The best guy there is sophomore catcher Matt Thaiss. He leads the team with a .328 batting average, nine home runs and 50 RBI. He also does not strike out much (19 strikeouts in 195 at-bats).
Had he not gotten hurt earlier this season, junior lefty Nathan Kirby would no doubt be the starter for this game. However, with his injury, the Cavaliers will be going with junior righty Josh Sborz. Sborz has been the closer for the Cavs for most of the season and will be making his third start of the season.
Sborz is 2-2 with a 2.49 ERA in his 47.0 innings spread across 24 appearances (two starts). He has struck out 38 batters and walked 18 and has saved 12 games for the Cavs this season.
The winner of this game will be entered into Pool B of the ACC tournament. That team will face No. 2 seed Miami at 3 p.m. Wednesday, No. 3 seed Notre Dame at 11 a.m. Friday and No. 6 seed NC State at 7 p.m. Saturday.