Two-Way Player Nick Howard Sparks Cavaliers - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Two-Way Player Nick Howard Sparks Cavaliers

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Virginia baseball standout Nick Howard doesn't only walk out to the mound on game days, you can also find him on third base.

Howard said, "I have a lot of confidence out there knowing they have confidence in me."

"The ten years that our coaching staff has been here we've shown that a two way player can be very valuable. Nick's obviously continued to carry that ball for us," said UVA head coach Brian O'Connor.

On the mound Howard had 3-1 record this season with 1.65 ERA.  At the plate he's batting an impressive .366 and leads the 'Hoos with eight doubles.

In the Cavaliers three game series against NC State, Howard worked 18 innings at third base and still had the energy to throw 90-mph balls during the 4 1/3 innings he pitched in game three.

Its no secret Howard's an asset.

His teammate, Reed Gragnani said,"I think it takes a special person just to be in it mentally."

Coach O'Connor added, "I knew Nick Howard was going to be one of our really key players this season. Just because of the workload that's on him."

Howard admits playing two positions can take its toll on the body. "All the running around. Eventually your legs just sort of just start getting fatigued but its something that you have to battle with and just grind through," he added.

O'Connor has produced multiple two way players, like Danny Hultzen and Sean Doolittle.  He said it's extremely important how you manage that type of athlete so they can be as effective as possible when they hit the field. "There's a lot of days that we don't have Nick throw with the position player just on a practice day. It might be a day off for him just from a throwing standpoint," said O'Connor.

Gragnani added, "I think Nick so far has been embracing it...And he's been big for us. Both ways."

Howard said, "I mean, its hard you can't take a pitch off. It keeps you in the game."

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