Super Pitching Matchup Set for Game 1 of Virginia-Maryland Super Regional
Virginia and Maryland are the only ACC teams remaining in the NCAA college baseball tournament.
The two teams begin a best-of-3 super regional starting Saturday at noon with a great pitching matchup.
The Cavaliers will put their ace Nathan Kirby on the mound Saturday. The ACC co-pitcher of the year has 1.36 era and a 9-1 record. Kirby, a sophomore southpaw, seemed like a logical choice to start game one because Maryland has six left-handed batters in their starting lineup.
Kirby says, "Hopefully I can go out there and attack and force them to put the ball in play."
UVa coach Brian O'Connor says, "He's been our number-1 all year long, he's pitched very consistently, he has great stuff. Nathan Kirby would be staring even if their entire was right-handed. Hopefully, Kirby being left handed can be an advantage for him and he can hold those guys down a little bit because he's going to need to."
Maryland will start ace Jack Stinnett. Stinnett was picked in the second round Thursday in the major league baseball draft by the Cubs. He pitched against Virginia in the ACC tournament striking out 10 Wahoos in a 7-6 Terp win.
UVa's Mike Papi says, "I think we're fortunate that we get to see him twice. I know their team hasn't seen Kirby or Waddell and for me an other players when you see a pitcher more than once you the shape of his pitches and the style of him coming at you so I think that's advantage for us to have that under our belt."
Jake Stinnett says, "You're going to have the most success with the same approach every time, getting ahead of guys and throwing strikes and mixing it up you're going to be fine, you can't really control the ball park or the hitters."
Maryland has won 14 of its last 16 games. It's a Terp baseball program that is in the ncaa tournament for the first time in 43 years. Second-year coach John Szefc says he's trying to take his program to where Virginia already is.
Szefc, "These guys set a pretty good model for what's going on, but the reality of it is is when the first pitch is thrown tomorrow, all that doesn't make any difference. They have to get us out 27 times and we have to get them out 27 times."
Maryland outfielder Charlie White says, "Ever since we got her our goal was to reach the postseason and do some damage so for it to finally happen is an awesome feeling"
O'Connor says, "We need to go out there, whether its Maryland or somebody else and be who we are and not change anything, be that aggressive team that has a lot of confidence, and does a great job on the mound and handles the ball behind the plate, we've been a very opportunistic team, whether its Maryland or anybody else I don't think anything changes, but certainly we respect them."
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