UVA Baseball Heading to Orlando for Season Opening Weekend

Posted: Updated:
Starting Pitchers Daniel Lynch, Evan Sperling & Derek Casey Starting Pitchers Daniel Lynch, Evan Sperling & Derek Casey

The UVa baseball team will play its first three games of the season this weekend in Orlando, Florida.

The 'Hoos will face Central Florida Friday, Samford on Saturday, and Rice on Sunday.

UVa coach Brian O'Connor says junior LHP Daniel Lynch will start Friday, senior RHP Derek Casey will pitch Saturday and junior RHP Evan Sperling will pitch Sunday.

This will be the second straight year Lynch has pitched the season opener for Virginia.

Lynch says, "Having the experience and just playing and pitching in so may games, pitching in regionals, pitching in the ACC tournament.  It just gives you the experience of knowing what it feels like before the game, during the game and after the game and just what to expect."

The team already suffered a setback this week with second-team All-ACC outfielder Cam Simmons out for the season needing shoulder surgery.

"That's what a team is all about, we got to overcome adversity," says third baseman Justin Novak.   "Our depth is really good this year, we have a lot of young talent and we're going to see what they're made of."

"The big thing is they've (UVa's freshmen) matured really quickly," says catcher Caleb Knight.   "They've overcome some of the freshmen issues they've overcome in fall ball but they're all looking good and handeling themselves really well on the field and off the field as well so I think they'll be just fine for us."

UVa coach Brian O'Connor says Jake McCarthy is moving to center field this season to replace Adam Haseley.

O'Connor says this is his tenative opening day lineup:

Catcher: senior, Caleb Knight
First Base: junior, Nate Eikhoff
Second Base:  junior, Andy Weber
Short Stop:  sophomore, Cayman Richardson
Third Base:  senior, Justin Novak
Left Field:  senior, Charlie Cody
Center Field:  junior, Jake McCarthy
Right Field: freshman, Alex Tappen

"I've really liked what I've seen, I think our preparation has been very purposeful, it's been very businesslike, says O'Connor.  "Our guys have been real focused on getting better and preparing for the start of the season so I think we're ready to go."

Novak adds, "It's game time, can't wait to get out there and see what everyone's made of, see what I'm made of, see what the team's got in store so we'll see how it goes."