June 5, 2011

CBI Live: #1 Virginia 13, #2 ECU 1

Regional Scores


Proscia Packs Punch for Cavs

By Sean Ryan

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – There was a time when Steven Proscia (left) thought he might play baseball and football in college.


Clemson was high on the list.


“I had thoughts of going there and possibly playing football there as well," said Virginia's junior third baseman..


“I wanted to, I had thoughts. I would have worked hard for it. I knew it was going to be a tough decision. I love football, but I love baseball a little bit more, so if I had to pick, I would pick baseball. But it would have been cool to play football.”


During the recruiting process Clemson assistant Kevin O’Sullivan left for the top job at Florida, and Proscia started to look at Virginia. He hit it off with Cavaliers assistant Kevin McMullan and took a visit to Charlottesville and said he fell in love with the place.


And the Cavaliers have fallen in love with Proscia, who starred at Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) as a cornerback/receiver and was the 2008 New Jersey Sports Athlete of the Year.


Proscia made an immediate impact, batting .333 with 10 homers and 58 RBI as a freshman. Included was a big two-run homer to give the Cavaliers breathing room late in its Regional opening win over San Diego State. Last year, Proscia hit .314 with 10 homers and 65 RBI. Virginia’s cleanup hitter is hitting .341 with eight homers and 58 RBI this season heading into his third trip to the Super Regionals.


“He’s just developed as a complete hitter,” Cavaliers coach Brian O’Connor said.


Proscia has made impressive strides in the field as well.


O’Connor encouraged Proscia to work on his defense when he left for the Cape Cod League last summer, and the third baseman came back quicker and better. After making 15 errors a year ago, Proscia has five this season and is fielding .962.


Sunday night, Proscia nearly made a slick do-or-die play on a slow roller that whispered to the third-base line, but the throw on the run was a little off.


He started the five-run second inning with a single and added a RBI double in the four-run fourth. In the sixth, he hit a long sacrifice fly to the depths of Davenport Field’s center field.


In other words, he was right in the middle of things. As he was when he made 13 interceptions and 70 tackles and scored nine touchdowns back in high school. And as he has been since he stepped foot on the Virginia campus.


“Our team has been based off each guy contributing,” Proscia said. “We’re basically a build off team: One guy gets a hit, the next guy gets a hit, and we kind of build off of that. We build off each other’s success.


“That’s why our team has been so successful, because we thrive on each other’s success. When you have that type of team, that kind of feel for each other, it makes it exciting to play for.”

(photo by Jimmy Jones)