And they say that sequels are always worse than the original. Well, let's call this Q+A the Godfather II of Q+As. We're talking against with SBNation's Virginia site Streaking The Lawn about the repeat of Cal-Virginia. This time, it's personal! Well, not really, the Virginia people all seem very nice. But it's best if they lose and Cal wins. I think we can all agree about that.
At this point, Cal is playing with house money. They've won their first CWS game since 1980 (before all of the current players were even born!) and are hoping to make it to the Finals. To do so, their path is now clear. They have to beat Virginia today at 4 PM PST and then beat University of South Carolina twice more. Twice, because it is a double elimination tournament. So, if Cal beats Virginia, they will have 1 loss, while USC will have none. But let's not put the cart before the horse.
We talked with Streaking The Lawn before about the UVa baseball team. They were kind enough to answer more questions for us! Join us after the jump for more information on the UVA baseball team. May tonight's sequel be better than the original. GO BEARS!
1. What pitcher is UVa going to send out to the mound in Game 2 and what should we know about them?
It hasn't been announced yet but, I presume Tyler Wilson will be toeing the rubber for the 'Hoos come tomorrow night. Wilson has been the #2 pitcher for UVa all year and has been outstanding in the post season as well. Cal fans got a look at Wilson on Sunday when he came out of the pen in the 7th to relieve Hultzen. He's a 4th year RHP who made the move out of the bullpen to the starting rotation for his senior year. Drafted 305th overall by the Orioles in this year's draft he has been great. He sits in the low 90s with his fastball but his out pitch is definitly going to be his slider. He was able to keep Cal off balance on Sunday and scoreless until some great two out hitting in the 9th.
2. Pretend you are Coach O'Connor. Whom would YOU start on the mound on Thursday?
I would have to say Wilson. He is the guy on the staff who has been their go to all year long and will give them the best chance to win (other than Hultzen). Hultzen just doesn't have quite as much rest as he should have to start a game but should definitly be ready to go should UVa defeat Cal on Thurs and play USC again on Friday.
3. What did USC do, beyond the obvious platitudes of "score more runs", in Game 2 to defeat UVa that Cal couldn't?
I talked about it in my recap today. USC played like the freaking Boston Red Sox. They had solid and timely hits, they pitched exceptionally well, and turned in web gems. When a team is playing like that, unless you are playing your A+ game, its going to be hard to win. UVa on the other hand, played like my 12 year old little league team and they will tell you that. Three errors (including two in the first inning), only five hits, one run, and multiple double plays ground into just isnt going to get it done in Omaha. Not to take anything away from Cal, they just weren't able to capitalize on minor mistakes that UVa made like the Gamecocks were.
4. There looked to be some defensive breakdowns by UVA against USC. Had you seen anything like that from UVA this season?
Not just this season but in all of my years associated with or watching UVa was that what has defined UVa baseball. They had a .980 fielding percentage coming into the game and then made two errors in the first inning. It was kind of an anomaly and one that is hopefully out of their system.
5. The wind was blowing out at TD Ameritrade during your game against USC. How did that play to UVA's strengths and weaknesses?
I don't think it necessarily played up to either one. The only play I think it really affected was USC's double in the first inning off the wall that seemed to carry a bit more than normal. If UVa or USC was known for their home run power I think it could have helped either team but neither really hit home runs on a regular basis. John Hicks home run would have been out of any ball park and I don't believe was wind aided too much.
6. What is the deal with the whole "Hoos" thing?
'Hoos is a shorter version of one of our nicknames which is "Wahoos." "Cavaliers" is a nickname that is used more commonly by the formal media while "'Hoos" or "Wahoos" is more of an informal-student used name. That wahoo nickname comes from the late 19th century during a baseball game. UVa was playing Washington and Lee at the time and W&L didn't have much love for UVa or the baseball team and started to call our team a bunch of "Wahoos." The name has stuck ever since. A wahoo is also a type of fish that can drink up to 4 times its body weight (I kid. It is a fish but can only drink 3x its body weight).
7. Who is the Cavs hottest hitter in the CWS and do you believe he will continue his success against Cal?
I said before the CWS started that Chris Taylor would be one of the biggest factors in the UVa lineup. Chris has lived up to my billing going 3-8 so far in the two games including a two hit performance last night (only UVa player with multiple hits). Chris is just an all around good baseball player and I do expect him to continue that success on Friday against Cal. He went 1-4 on Sunday but was hitting the ball hard and right at people.