Virginia appears to have found its power. The Cavs' physicality was one of the major reasons they were our preseason No. 1 team, but it hadn't been showing through as much as expected. It is now.
Bolstered by the return of a healthy Derek Fisher last Sunday, the Cavs have homered at least once in four of their last five games, and they mashed four homers—by four different players—in last night's 13-0 rout of Richmond. Three of the homers came in the third inning alone, starting with sophomore Robbie Coman hitting the first of his career. Later in the inning, Joe McCarthy blasted a grand slam and went on to finish the night with a career-high five RBIs. Fisher, who missed 25 games with a broken hamate, homered for the second straight night two batters later. In the sixth, Mike Papi moved into a tie for second in the ACC home run race with his seventh. It was the first time since April 5, 2005, that four different UVa. players homered in the same game.
Cavs freshman Alec Bettinger (6 IP, 1 H, 0 R) struck out a career-high 11 over six innings to improve to 5-0 on the season. Virginia, which is in a three-way tie for first place in the ACC with Florida State and Miami, will head to the Sunshine State for the weekend's marquee series as they face FSU, pitting the country's No. 1 and No. 4 teams against each other.
Top 25 Upset
Florida A&M at (6) Florida: The Rattlers made program history with a 4-3 win in Gainesville, defeating Florida for the first time ever (19 all-time meetings) and beating a ranked team for the first time since 1980 (that predates BA's rankings, which began in 1981). FAMU got a pair of two-run homers to account for all its scoring, with Jeremy Barlow's in the top of the seventh off Gators reliever Ryan Harris breaking a 2-2 tie. Florida scored once in the eighth to narrow the margin to 4-3, but FAMU's Kendal Weeks, who started the game at second base and moved to the mound in the seventh, stranded the tying run on third that inning and closed the game with a 1-2-3 ninth. The Rattlers improved to 18-21 in their first season under head coach Jamey Shouppe, formerly an assistant at Florida State. Last year, they were 7-47.
Other Top 25 Results
Stetson at (4) Florida State: In its last tune-up before the UVa. series, FSU completed a two-game sweep of Stetson with a 13-3 win. The score was actually tied 3-3 through five innings before the Seminoles blew it open, led by John Sansone's 3-for-5 effort.
South Carolina-Upstate at (11) South Carolina: Kyle Martin (4-for-4), Gene Cone (3-for-5) and Joey Pankake (3-for-3) accounted for 10 of South Carolina's 11 hits in a 6-1 win. Since snapping their five-game losing streak last weekend at Auburn, the Gamecocks have reeled off four straight wins as they get ready to host No. 8 Alabama this weekend.
Morehead State at (13) Louisville: Five different Cardinal players recorded multiple hits in a 7-3 win, led by Alex Chittenden's 3-for-4 effort. The Cards erased an early 3-0 deficit with a four-run fifth, highlighted by Chittenden's two-run double.
(15) Miami at Florida Atlantic: Miami won the rubber match of its three-game season series with FAU, winning a back-and-forth game 10-9. Javi Salas (3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER) had a rough start for the Canes, but Miami fought back with a seven-run fourth inning, then broke an 8-8 tie with two runs in the top of the ninth. Ricky Eusebio led the Canes offense with three hits, and Tyler Palmer brought in the go-ahead run with a two-out RBI single in the ninth.
Ball State at (18) Indiana: The Hoosiers have won 14 of their last 15, powering past Ball State 10-1 thanks to a nine-run sixth inning, highlighted by Brad Hartong's three-run homer. IU starter Sullivan Stadler (5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) pitched well in a no-decision, and the Hoosiers staff has allowed just three runs total in its last five games.
Western Carolina at (20) Clemson: The Tigers picked up a solid midweek win by an 11-3 score against WCU, the second-place team in the Southern Conference. Clemson opened up a 7-0 lead through four innings and cruised from there, while sophomore Zack Erwin (7 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 13 K) set a career-high for strikeouts.
Northwestern State at (24) Arkansas: The Razorbacks scored a season-high 15 runs to complete a two-game series sweep of Northwestern State by a 15-3 count. Brian Anderson (2-for-3, 3 RBI) and Eric Fisher (2-for-4, 4 RBI) homered for Arkansas.