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Jake McCarthy Filling Virginia's Need for Speed

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UVA's Jake McCarthy has 26 steals in 28 attempts UVA's Jake McCarthy has 26 steals in 28 attempts

UVa outfielder Jake McCarthy is healthy and putting a lot of pressure on opposing defenses.

The sophomore from Scranton, Pennsylvania missed most of last season with a toe injury.

This season, he's played in every game for Virginia and leads the ACC in steals (26) and triples (6).

"Jake is an electric player," says UVA coach Brian O'Connor.  "He wasn't in our lineup last year and the impact he's made for us this year, every time he gets on he's a threat to steal a base."

McCarthy's 26 steals are six shy of tying Virginia's single-season record held by Greg Miclat (2007).  McCarthy has 26 steals in 28 attempts.

"If stealing bases helps the team and to hold a record like that it's something I'd obviously be proud of, but it's not something I've been counting down;" says McCarthy.  "I'm just worried about winning games and helping the team moving forward".

McCarthy is batting .322 this year with two home runs and 26 RBI.   He's batted in different spots this season in Virginia's batting order, but coach Brian O'Connor now has him batting ninth.

O'Connor says, "It's working well for us, I think it gives us a real threat at the bottom of the order for us to turn it over to the top."

McCarthy says, "The approach doesn't change when you get up there, I'm looking to get on base and do some damage.  I know we have guys in this lineup who can knock me in."

McCarthy has been an iron man.  He's one of only two Wahoos to play and start in all 47 games.

"I wanted to make it a point to be healthy this year and being available every single game is something I take pride in," McCarthy says. "With strength and conditioning I just try to be smart with my body I think its paid off, so far so good, I'm just glad to be out here."

10th ranked Virginia has a record of 36-11 this season.  The 'Hoos host Miami for a three-game series starting Friday.

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