June 3, 2011


Great Day for Two in Charlottesville

By Barry Davis

Head Baseball Coach – Rider University

Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com


Barry Davis has led the Rider Broncs for the past seven seasons, guiding them to the NCAA tourney in 2008 and 2010. A Charlottesville, Va., native, Davis will provide insights on the Charlottesville Regional.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – It was a great day to play two in Charlottesville. Virginia and St. John’s followed the familiar formula of great pitching, solid defense and timely hitting to secure a game in the winners’ bracket final at 6 p.m. on Saturday night.

Game 1

Will Roberts and Danny Hultzen led the way. Roberts retired the last 17, struck out 14 Midshipmen by attacking them with a plus fastball and breaking ball. He walked none and only one runner reached second base all day.

Hultzen, who is known for his pitching skills, collected three hits, while driving in three…all with two outs.

Some keys for the Cavaliers – they collected four walks, and three eventually scored. Navy had no walks on offense; Virginia was 5 for 12 with two outs, scoring five runs. Navy was 2 for 11.

Navy starter Ben Nelson threw well over 125 pitches in 6.1 innings. He battled all day, but only had one clean inning (second). Roberts had six, three-up, three-down innings.

Virginia is a difficult team to beat when you give free opportunities. They'll work the free pass, bunt and take the extra base. Each hitter is a tough out, so getting 27 without damage is asking a lot their opponent.

Game 2

St. John’s executed three sac bunts, a Kevin Grove sac fly and a timely single by Jimmy Brennan (three hits and nice defensive play to save a run) to beat second-seeded East Carolina.

Both teams had numerous opportunities – 12 men left on base by each team.

Red Storm starter Sean Hagan, scattered nine hits over 7.1 innings as well fielding his position (three assists). Closer Matt Carasiti pitched out of jams in the eighth and ninth to record his eighth save. He was very aggressive in his approach as he went right after the Pirates hitters. Two wild pitches put runners in scoring position, but he was able to find his way out of each situation and save a very important game.

Virginia's Danny Hultzen vs. St. John's Kyle Hansen.

It will certainly come down to who can get the leadoff batter on and together, advance him into position to score. Hits may be scarce, so a walk, a bunt and a flare may be the difference. The little things will be big. Bring your "A" game.