No. 10 Cavaliers Stumble in Blacksburg, Prepare for ACC Tournament

Brian HallContributor IMay 18, 2009

BLACKSBURG, VA - MARCH 18: The New York Yankees play the Virginia Tech Hokies in a memorial exhibition game at English Field on March 18, 2008 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

The Virginia Cavaliers and the Hokies of Virginia Tech have a long history as in-state rivals. But in baseball, the series has been completely one-sided...until now.

The two squads met at English Field over the weekend, where the Hokies stunned the 10th-ranked Wahoos by taking two of the three game series. The Cavaliers had won the past 12 meetings against Tech, a streak that dated back to 2003.

On Thursday night, the teams played an intense low-scoring affair that went into extra innings. In the bottom of the tenth inning, Hokies first baseman Austin Wates hit a walk off HR to give them a 5-4 victory.

The following night, with storms looming ominously and Virginia Tech having been officially eliminated from contention for the ACC tourney, the offenses exploded as the Hokies were able to hold off the Cavs, 9-8. Saturday afternoon's contest finally went the way of the 'Hoos, as Virginia pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts en route to a 6-4 victory.

Junior SS Tyler Cannon was a consistent force for the Cavaliers in this series. He finished the three game set, batting 10-13. On Friday night alone, he reached base all six times he stepped to the plate, going 5-5 with a walk.

UVA will need that bat to stay hot this week in Durham, NC. The Cavs earned the sixth seed in the ACC tournament and will face the third seeded Clemson Tigers on Thursday evening. They will also be playing No. 2 seed North Carolina on Friday, and No. 7 seed Duke on Saturday. 

Those four teams make up Division B and the team with the best record in that group thru Saturday will play in the championship game on Sunday, against the the winner of Division A. No. 1 seed Florida State, No. 4 Georgia Tech, No. 5 Miami, and No. 8 Boston College, make up Division A.