Saturday, January 28, 2023

A Preview of the Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia Cavaliers Stadium Photo courtesy of Google
Virginia Cavaliers Stadium Photo courtesy of Google

After being away from the Mecca of college baseball for 42 years, the Ole Miss Rebels return.
The talented squad will open up CWS play in their tough bracket at TD Ameritrade Park against the Virginia Cavaliers on Sunday at 7 p.m.
Virginia comes into the College World Series with a record of 49-14. They came back to win the back end of their Super Regional against Maryland, just like the Rebels did against UL-Lafayette.
So far in the NCAA tournament, the Cavaliers’ return to Omaha looks identical to that of the Rebels’. Virginia accomplished a clean sweep in the regional and only had one little hiccup in the supers against Maryland.
With an impressive home record of 34-4, 13-7 away, this year’s Cavaliers are going to be a tough opponent for anyone in the CWS. However, one possible weakness may be that on a neutral site this season, Virginia has a 2-3 record.
Virginia is led at the plate by junior Mike Papi, who is hitting at a .311 clip with 69 hits, 10 doubles, 11 home runs, and 54 RBIs. While teammate Joe McCarthy is right behind him with a .305 average.
As a club, the Cavaliers are hitting 281 with a .982 fielding percentage.
Virginia is expected to send sophomore left-hander Nathan Kirby against the Rebels on Sunday evening. He sports a 1.73 ERA and a 9-2 record, striking out 104 batters, while walking 25 through 104 innings.
Ole Miss Coach Mike Bianco has not named his game one starter yet, but here’s something to think about: The Cavaliers’ best hitters are left-handed swingers and Rebel left-hander Christian Trent is extra tough on lefties. Will Bianco waver from his usual series-starter Chris Ellis, who had a tough outing against Louisiana Lafayette?
HottyToddy.com is betting he will, but we’ll all know soon. One of the most eagerly awaited events in recent Ole Miss history is about to unfold in Omaha. Stay with us and we’ll keep you updated along the way.
The game will be televised on ESPN 2 and broadcast on the Ole Miss Baseball Radio Network.
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Rebel outfielder J.B. Woodman is ready. Are you?

Adam Brown is HottyToddy.com sports editor. He can be reached by emailing adam.brown@hottytoddy.com

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