Friday, March 20, 2009

weekend preview

OK, I intend to make it through an entire post without mentioning a "coaching search." Except for just now.

It's a big weekend for the spring sports with two highly-ranked teams taking on highly-ranked opponents. Lacrosse goes to Baltimore for a tilt against Johns Hopkins. It's on ESPNU in prime time, which means I'll be watching, which means we'll probably lose. Baseball has a big series against Miami at Davenport Field.

Hopkins has played two ranked teams this year and lost to them both - one in ugly fashion. Princeton gave them much more of a beating than the 14-8 final score shows - it was 10-1 at the half and Hopkins was badly outshot. Their other loss is Syracuse, just last week. Last year's game against Hopkins was a 13-12 UVA win in OT and could have been wider but for the Hopkins goaltender who made 17 saves. He was good like that last year. This year his goaltending has been just this side of average.

We haven't lost to Hopkins since 2005 when they dropped us twice en route to the national championship. If that plus me watching the game doesn't suffice to jinx us as thoroughly as possible, then a win should be in the cards this weekend.

That's not really a yardstick game though. The Miami series will be. And frankly, it ought to make Miami fans nervous. Chris Hernandez was Miami's ace last year with an unblemished 11-0 record. He'll face superfrosh Danny Hultzen tonight. Problem for Miami is that Hernandez, other than a very nice opening-day effort against Rutgers, hasn't turned in anything remotely resembling the kind of dominating performances he had last year. Their other two starters this weekend are converted relievers, one doing well and the other ehhhhhh maybe not so good. Danny Gutierrez doesn't let in, like, runs, and has one loss on his record thanks to getting bupkiss for run support against Duke. Iden Nazario has been underwhelmingly average except for his NC State outing, in which he served 'em up on a platter and inflated his ERA to C.J. Nitkowski levels.

This'll be the first real test for both teams. Statistically, we rule. It's not even close. Our pitching and hitting numbers are so far beyond theirs they need binoculars. That's a foolish way to predict a series given the level of competition we've faced thus far though. But, I really like our odds of taking at least one game. Two games would not surprise me, and would confirm our place in the top echelon of the ACC besides. A sweep? Well. Let's not get greedy. Yet.

Football note: Corey Mosley and Ausar Walcott were cleared of their misdemeanor charges from last month's little dustup. So the dream of getting through a whole offseason without Fulmer Cup points is alive.

No comments: