June 4, 2011


Virginia: 'A Scary Team'

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. – Today in Charlottesville, East Carolina avoided elimination by beating Navy 6-1 and Virginia sent St. John’s to the losers’ bracket with a dominating 10-2 win. 


In a four-team double elimination tournament, avoiding the losers’ bracket is the biggest key.  You will play at least one less game and most likely have your No. 3 going against a No. 4 or No. 5 and often having a more rested bullpen.


If you are playing through the losers’ bracket, you must do whatever you can to avoid elimination. One big key is using as little pitching as possible, if possible. A coach will orchestrate the best he can to save his arms for that DH on Day 3. 


Game 1


East Carolina started Seth Maness, and he dodged two threats, one in the fourth with runners at first and third and no outs, and the other in the sixth with runners at first and second and no outs. Both innings ended with double plays. Seth threw only 99 pitches in the complete-game win. He saved the pen. East Carolina has only used three pitchers in two games. Closer Seth Simmons threw one inning on Friday night, so the Pirates are rested heading into Game 3 vs. St John’s.


Offensively, East Carolina scored two runs by way of a walk, bunt for hit and two-out single for one run. The second came courtesy of an infield error. However, ECU earned the opportunity by working a walk, stealing a base and advancing to third on a ground ball. 


Navy’s starter Sam Long battled all day. He kept the Pirates off balance with his offspeed pitches, leaving the game after walking the leadoff hitter in the top of the seventh.


East Carolina’s Chase McDonald hit the first pitch off reliever Preston Gainey for a grand slam extending the lead to 6-0. Chase is a very aggressive hitter. He’s hitting .500 (4 for 8) so far and will be a key component vs. St. John’s Sunday.


ECU walked 10 times... five of those freebies scored. That is taking advantage of opportunities.


I thought Navy competed and proved they should have been here. The Patriot League was well represented.   


Game 2


Virginia was led by Danny Hultzen on the mound (7 innings, 12 Ks, 0 runs, 3 hits) and by a host of position players to defeat St. John’s 10-2.


It was a total team effort...he are some examples:


·      Five players contributed at least one RBI (David Coleman 4, Steve Proscia 3)

·      Seven players scored at least one run (Proscia 3)

·      All nine starters and one substitute reached base at least once. Seven reached more than once.


A continuing theme has been scoring with two outs. Seven of the 10 runs tonight and 12 of 16 in the tournament have come with two outs.


Another key is keeping the lead man off base. Virginia has scored in nine separate innings. Six times the leadoff man has reached. Four of the six have been multiple-run innings.


Virginia is playing well – a scary team if the offense continues to be as productive as it has been the last two days.