After an easier than expected win over James Madison Tuesday night, the Hoos return to Davenport Field to open a ten game homestand. Kicking things off Wednesday evening will be the Norfolk State Spartans of the MEAC.
UVA will put a three-game winning streak on the line in the final tune up this week before they host Miami in an important ACC series this weekend.
Virginia: 20-13 (Overall), 8-7 (ACC)
Norfolk State: 11-17 (Overall), 7-5 (MEAC)
Wednesday, April 10 - 6:00 PM
Projected Starting Pitchers
It will be the classic TBD vs TBD matchup on Wednesday.
With neither team willing or able to tip their hand, there's only room for speculation. Both Evan Sperling and Zach Messinger pitched for the Hoos at James Madison. That leaves freshman lefty Billy Price as the most likely option for UVA. If not Price, then sophomore right hander Blake Bales will almost certainly get the ball for the Hoos. No matter who starts, this profiles as the classic staff day for UVA.
Norfolk State has started five different pitchers this season. They have their weekend rotation, a pitcher with four midweek starts, and a pitcher with one midweek start.
The Spartans have a home MEAC series this weekend, so we can scratch their weekend starters. The obvious choice then becomes junior lefty Kevin Alicea or freshman lefty James Deloatch.
Deloatch's first start of the season came in last week's midweek contest against Richmond. He hasn't pitched since. Call it a hunch, but I think he gets the start against the Hoos.
If that's the case, Deloatch has 11 appearances on the season with the 1 start. He sports a 0-1 record. In 18.1 IP, Deloatch has an 8.35 ERA. He's allowed 16 walks and struck out 16 as well. Opponents are batting .301 against him.
In his last outing against Richmond, Deloatch pitched 4.0 innings. He gave up 4 hits, 3 runs (all earned), walked 5, and struck out 4.
Weather Watch (Courtesy of Weather.com)
Expect near perfect baseball weather as the game begins. Temps should be in the lower 70s with mostly sunny skies. There's no chance of precipitation. Winds will be less than 5 MPH.
That weather should maintain throughout the game with temps decreasing slightly as the evening progresses.
ACC Network Extra will have streaming via ESPN's streaming platforms.
Locally, WINA will broadcast the game over the radio.
And VirginiaSports.com will stream the radio broadcast.
Spartan To Watch
All MEAC Preseason First Team utility player Stephen Baughan gets the spotlight. The junior from Richmond plays 1B for the Spartans. On the season, Baughan leads Norfolk State in homers (3), doubles (12), triples (tied, 2), total bases (53), and slugging (.541). He's second on the team in RBI (18) and OPS (.880). And third on the squad in runs (17) and hits (28).
You have to go all the way back to 2009 for the last game against Norfolk State. It's nice to have the Spartans back on the schedule.
In the 2009 matchup, UVA won 6 to 2. Offensive stars for the Hoos in the victory were Danny Hultzen, Jared Parker, and Phil Gosselin. Jeff Lorick got the start in the game and Shane Halley earned the win.
Under Brian O'Connor, UVA is 4-0 against Norfolk State.
Norfolk State was picked second in the MEAC's northern division preseason poll as voted by the league coaches and SIDs behind Coppin State. Overall, their votes earned placed them fourth in the conference.
There's not a lot of analysis needed for this one. The Spartans figure to be overmatched against the Hoos. Assuming UVA isn't completely overlooking Norfolk State, there doesn't figure to be much drama.
UVA runs its winning streak to four games with a win.