June 12, 2010
Scores, Schedules & Capsules
CBI Live: Virginia 3, Oklahoma 2
Pitch Counts, Other
Nuggets from Charlottesville
By Sean Ryan
Va. – With Virginia leading Oklahoma
3-2 entering the ninth inning Saturday at Davenport Field, a big
question added to the drama of a fantastic college baseball
Would Cavaliers starter Danny Hultzen (right)
return to start the ninth inning?
Hultzen was at 130 pitches.
Cavaliers closer Kevin Arico was ready to go. And set-up man
Tyler Wilson also had gotten loose for a couple innings. The
fact that left-handed Cameron Seitzer (0 for 3 with a strikeout)
was leading off the inning made some wonder if the lefty Hultzen
might be asked to get one more hitter.
Cavaliers coach Brian O’Connor and pitching coach
Karl Kuhn called on Arico, who earned his 18th save.
“There was no question,” O’Connor said of turning
Calling it a “special circumstance,” O’Connor
said he debated taking Hultzen out after the seventh, when he
was at 113 pitches. Chris Ellison’s 10-pitch at-bat in the
seventh probably fueled that debate.
“If I recall this correctly…I think that’s the
first pitcher we’ve had all year that’s thrown over 120
pitches,” O’Connor said.
He added that he’s been asked a lot why Hultzen,
who hit .327 with three homers and 37 RBI in 2009, hasn’t hit
more this year (he’s hitting .281 in 57 at-bats).
“That’s why,” O’Connor said. “You get to this
time of year, he’s still fresh, he can still pitch deep into the
Hultzen didn’t even realize
the pitch count had gotten that high, saying he thought he was
“I don’t know if I’ve ever thrown 130 pitches,”
* * *
It’s easy to be critical of ace pitchers.
After Drew Pomeranz beat St. John’s in
Charlottesville last weekend with less than his best, Ole Miss
coach Mike Bianco said, “It’s amazing how critical we are of
Hultzen hasn’t been as
sharp as Cavaliers fans have grown used to his past few starts –
including allowing 11 earned runs in his past 12 innings. It
probably didn’t help facing Miami twice in a week as Hultzen did
to close the regular season and open the ACC tournament. And
give some credit to Ole Miss, which traditionally falls out of
bed swinging the sticks.
Against the Rebels, Hultzen was inconsistent with
his location and said afterward he didn’t have command of his
change. He looked noticeably uncomfortable in the stretch.
O’Connor said Hultzen did a lot of mechanical
work with Kuhn, one of the top pitching coaches in the country.
And he spent some time watching video of himself, including
side-by-side images of when things were going great and not so
great to “see if there’s something off a tick.”
“I think a big portion of Danny’s was a mental
thing that he’s just trying to do too much,” O’Connor said.
“I’ll tell you if I’m ever guilty of something, I wouldn’t mind
being guilty of trying to do too much. You can’t fault a kid for
Sooners coach Sunny
Golloway reminded those being critical to remember a few things.
“Everybody was being critical, not really at a
student athlete…but he just hadn’t been himself the last three
times,” Golloway said. “But he’s won. He’s won every time out.
So, let’s remember: We’re dealing with some amateur student
athletes who go to school and are getting a degree. And he’s
winning. He’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing. And he did
it again today against us.”
* * *
Sooners third baseman
Garrett Buechele, the son of former major leaguer Steve Buechele,
came to Charlottesville red hot. He had hit in 29 of 31 games,
going 55 for 121 (.455) over that span.
Buechele by going right at him with 90-plus mph fastballs on the
outer half early in the count and delivering high heat when he
got two strikes. Buechele went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, a
popup to second and solid shot to center in the eighth. Of the
14 pitches he saw from Virginia’s ace, 11 were strikes.
“I thought his elevation was the key to his
success,” Golloway said of Hultzen.
* * *
the Sooners’ starter, matched Hultzen pitch for pitch. He
allowed two hits in the first two innings then threw three
hitless innings before the sixth inning, when Dan Grovatt (left)
hit a laser of a homer to right field.
Rocha was starting his sixth game and has made 13
other appearances in relief. He coupled his 91-mph fastball with
an above-average slider that had the Cavaliers baffled in spots.
“He did a good job of keeping us right there and
giving us a shot,” Golloway said.
As for choosing Rocha over ace Zach Neal (8-3,
4.42 ERA), Golloway said, “He is just a quality arm and he’s
throwing the baseball really well right now. We just thought
even though Zach is our ace, it was real important what Michael
did down the stretch.
* * *
The Sooners will start Zach Neal today, and the
Cavaliers likely will go with No. 2 Robert Morey. Oklahoma will
be the home team, and Golloway suggested Cavaliers fans would
see a different look – the Sooners’ white pinstripes with pants
up and a lot of stirrup showing.
* * *
The start of the game was delayed for nearly two
hours by a fast-moving thunderstorm that forced Virginia
officials to clear fans from the stadium.
Both starting pitchers had just started to loosen
up, and neither Hultzen nor Rocha said it was a factor.
Players said they relaxed in the clubhouse,
talked baseball and remained focused on the game. Media members
focused on the World Cup soccer match between England and the
* * *
They said it:
coach Sunny Golloway: “Nobody lost today. Somebody won the
ballgame. That’s very clear to everyone in the United States who
watched the game on TV.”
“It was a really good college baseball game. That’s what you
hope for and expect this time of year…they got two balls out of
the yard, that ended up being the difference.”
starter Michael Rocha: “You have to come out and give your best
effort; you live for these close, one-run ballgames.”
leadoff man Chris Ellison on facing the lefty Danny Hultzen:
“You can ask any of the lefties in our lineup, we don’t care
who’s pitching, lefty or righty… today things just didn’t fall
Cavaliers coach Brian
O’Connor on Dan Grovatt, who has slumped at times but hit the
deciding homer in the sixth inning: “Dan Grovatt has hit in the
middle of our lineup for this now his third season… this kid’s
stayed very, very positive. When you’re positive and make it
about his team like he said tonight, things have a way of
O’Connor on lefty-lefty or
righty-righty matchups out of the bullpen late in the game:
“Personally I think in college baseball, it’s overrated.”
(photos courtesy of UVs Media