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Uva Baseball

Uva Baseball

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The UVA baseball team is on its way to California for the NCAA Tournament.

The selection committee did Virginia no favors by putting the 'Hoos in a regional out west with number-one-ranked Cal Irvine, defending national champion Fresno State and San Diego State, who has the nation's most dominant pitcher.But if any team can pull off an upset it just may be the Virginia Cavaliers.

After four wins in four days, the Cavaliers captured their first ACC Championship in 13 years.

"It was great.� We came from behind in almost every game except for the North Carolina game.� It just shows what kind of character this team has," said UVA freshman Steven Proscia.The 'Hoos lost 11 letter winners from last season, including six guys to the Major League Draft, but Virginia hasn't missed a beat.

They've won 43 games and captured the ACC crown.UVA Baseball Coach Brian O'Connor, "I think the big difference between this year's team and our teams in the past, is the balance throughout our lineup.� You don't have to rely on one way to play offensively.� We've got a number of guys in our lineup that can hit the ball out of the ballpark, and we have a number of guys that can steal a base."The Cavaliers have been a bit of a surprise because they're so young.

Their starting lineup is made up almost entirely of underclassmen.According to player Danny Hultzen, the ACC Freshman of the Year, "We have a really hard working team.� No one really thinks of guys as freshman, sophomores and juniors, you're just a player."We've been able to know that if one player doesn't get it done, the guy behind him is going to pick him up, and that's been our mentality all year long and it's worked for us," said Proscia.The 'Hoos have also gotten a boost from the long ball: Virginia has hit 53 homeruns this season -- more than double from last year."Guys have gotten stronger, guys that were here in the past lifting weights, and some of the freshman came in with the ability to hit homeruns," said UVA freshman player John Hicks.The 'Hoos now get set to play in an NCAA Tournament Regional, so stacked with heavyweights that ESPNU has decided to televise every game.O'Connor told NBC29's Marty Hudtloff, "Marty, this team has not backed down from challenges all season long.� We look at this as a wonderful opportunity to showcase on a national level, on national TV, what Virginia baseball is all about."Reported by Marty HudtloffSee Bio / Email
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