Hi Kendall – Great game at Duke, eh? Did you head down there? Looked like their stadium was pretty empty, but the highlights show some Hoofans in the stands.
Karl, Big Momma, and I went to the UVA v. Liberty baseball game yesterday. Although the contest was 14 innings, we only stayed 9. The stadium is beautiful, but the concession stand ran out of food and drink around the 3rd inning…. There were a couple Kit Kat bars and literally one Mello Yellow left when I visited the concession stand to beg for food around the 5th inning. My PTSD which arose after that game at the Diamond a few years ago came flooding back and I didn’t trust myself to stay any longer than 9. It appeared that Coach O’Connor treated the first 9 as a game anyway given how the pitching staff was used. So, here are my observations:
Derek Casey was a little out of control but somehow effective. He walked 2 and I think gave up 2 hits and a run. His fastball was 86-89. He made one batter do that slow “ooops” looking swing that was pretty funny. Not too bad given the time he has been away.
Connor Eason up next. The man looked like a machine out there. Very confident. Very effective and EFFICIENT (all capital letters). He was ahead of just about every batter. I don’t think he had more than a 9-10 pitch inning. Two defensive plays came whizzing to him and he was on it, including a 1-4-3 double play. No hits in 3 innings. Not a lot of Ks as he got most to pop out, a couple on the first pitch. Fastball in the 86-87 range. He was by far the most eye popping thing of the day (other than McCarthy at the plate – see below).
Bettinger was up next. One inning, one hit. He looked fine.
Roberts up next…….I’ll give you 1 guess..... 5 hits, several runs, and when the go-ahead run was on base (I think we were up by 5 when he took the mound), he was pulled in less than one inning….. I was hoping the Silverstein comparison would mean he pulled himself together this year but no evidence of that yet. (It's still early and we've got faith in Jack. C'mon Jack! Let's go, buddy!)
Tommy Doyle got us out of the 7th inning Roberts-jam and then went on to pitch to the end of the 9th inning. Looked exactly like an extended closing role. He gave up 2 hits, but had his fastball in the 92-93 range and got many many batters to do that “oops” swing as the ball was hitting the dirt right around the tip of the batters’ toes. Many. He’s got closer written all over him. He’s big, fast, and cool. I’ve read the coach is considering other scenarios. He did have one dorky play where he covered a grounder and as he was trotting to 1st to shovel a toss to Pavin, he threw it overhand from about 30 feet and Pavin wasn’t ready for it… tipped off the glove and Liberty got extra bases… Guess he was just excited.
Comer at C. He worked hard and looked good. Richardson at SS also looked good (although he probably has zero chance of being in that spot due to Clement’s claim). Novak had a couple really good plays at 2nd including a couple of leaping catches. Haseley was great at Center.
1-9 looked really good. In fact, the 1-6 was about unstoppable. I failed to commit this to memory, but I think we put up 10 runs (?). A lot of straight away or right center field hits to about 3’ short of going over the fence.
McCarthy – wow. Opened with a triple at his first at-bat. Hit many. Are there any more McCarthy brothers? Keep ‘em coming.
Knight – huge thighs. At one point, he was on third and we were joking about what it would be like to be the opposing team catcher and see those 10 ton thighs barreling for home. We had a good perspective on this as we were sitting on the first base line just right of the plate. Karl likened it to boulders rolling down a mountain.
Clement, Haseley, and as you call him, 'The Ginger Avenger,' Pavin Smith – all solid. Clement had one of those straight away hits that almost got out of the park. Haseley stole a couple bases.
I don’t know what happened after 9. I wanted to see that 6’8” pitcher, but will have to wait until the Blue/Orange series.
What happened to Dozier? Gerstenmaier? All I could find was that Dozier is still a student at UVA, but not playing baseball. I found a reference to Gerstenmaier off the team for “personal reasons”. You know anything?
It was a perfect day for baseball and this was a nice glimpse. Hope you like this summary.
Thanks Becca, that was AWESOME!