Confident Cavaliers Get Ready to Face Familiar Foe in Super Regional
The 'Hoos dominated the Charlottesville regional scoring 10 runs against Bucknell, then pitched a 2-hit shutout against Arkansas before beating the Razorbacks again Sunday scoring nine runs. The Cavaliers say they are playing loose.
UVa pitcher, Nick Howard says, "I think we play better when we're loose instead of pressuring ourselves with all the expectations on us, but I think we play better loose."
Its just a time of year to have fun, you can't take it for granted because not everyone's in this position obviously.
Virginia got strong performances in the regional from sophomore John LaPrise who batted 7-for-12 and Mike Papi, who had five hits and belted his team-leading 11th home run and made some great plays on defense
Papi says, "When you can score a couple runs and then come out and shut the other team down, maybe post a zero, and then
comeback and score again, it's a huge momentum shifter in the game."
In recent years preparing for the Super Regional, the 'Hoos have quickly had to learn as much as they could about their opponent, teams like Oklahoma, Cal-Irvine, and Mississippi State. This year the 'Hoos get ACC rival Maryland, a team they know pretty well.
Howard says, "Its a great competition between them and us, I have a lot of childhood friends that I grew up playing with, its always great seeing familiar faces."
Derek Fisher says, "I've played with a lot of kids on their team, so its going to be a lot of fun playing against kids that we know."
Those kids at Maryland have won 14 of their last 16 games, including beating South Carolina twice on the Gamecock's home field in the Columbia regional snapping South Carolina's 28-game postseason home win streak.
The Terps beat Virginia 7-6 in the ACC tournament two weeks ago.
UVa coach Brian O'Connor says, "Maryland has outstanding pitching like we do and some very athletic position players like we do. it's a matter of who plays loose and gets after it and who gets hot and you can go on to win the national championship if you get hot for 4 weeks. That's why I feel so good about our team, I thought we played loose and confident and played some of our best baseball last weekend and hopefully it continues this weekend."
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