UVa Baseball Remains Ranked #1 - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

UVa Baseball Remains Ranked #1

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The UVa baseball team remains the number one ranked team in the nation this week by both Baseball America and the USA Today Coaches poll.   The 'Hoos are also ranked number-one this week by Collegiate Baseball.

Virginia has a record of 33-11 and 17-7 in the ACC.

Virginia is coming of a 2-1 series win at Florida State and proving to be a team that has what it takes to make it to Omaha this year.

When the 'Hoos are ahead late its lights out for the opposition.

Virginia closer Nick Howard earned his ACC-leading 15th save Sunday helping the 'Hoos clinch a series win against Florida State.

Howard says, "Its just that bulldog kind of attitude that I'm not going to let a run score on my watch. I don't want to let them win on my hands."

Howard struck out all seven batters he faced this past weekend including one in a bases loaded jam in the 8th inning Friday, with Virginia nursing a one-run lead.

Coach Brian O'Connor says, "He's got a great fastball that he throws between 94 and 97 miles per hour, he's got a great breaking ball, but the thing that he does the best is he throws strikes."

Howard says, "Pressure's a lot of fun, that's part of the role of being a closer, getting that final out, everyone's on their feet and its just a real exciting experience."

Virginia's offense is starting to click on all cylinders. The 'Hoos have had a power surge with nine home runs in the last five games.

Derek Fisher has nine hits during that stretch since returning from wrist surgery including a game-winning 2-RBI double Friday night.

Fisher says, "I was told that I was going to come back and not be nearly as strong and I was going to notice a lot of differences, but I kind of make baseball simple just barrel baseball is I'll use the pitcher's power and velocity to hit balls hard is really all I can ask for right now."

Virginia has now won 10 straight ACC series going back to last year.  With wins the last three weekends over Clemson, North Carolina and especially on the road at Florida State, the Cavaliers are proving they have what it takes to make it to Omaha.

O'Connor says, "I learned a lot about the character of our team, I thought it was there all along and many times this season we've show a lot of toughness and a will to win and the character it takes to be successful, but when you do it in the manner we did this weekend, I just think with where we were at with this year's team, we needed that."

Virginia's next game is Tuesday at Old Dominion.

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