NORFOLK (WAVY) – The Virginia baseball team started the season ranked no. 1 in the country, but have since fallen out of the top 25 rankings. Based on Old Dominion’s record against the Cavaliers (27-10), head coach Chris Finwood maybe wishes UVa still held the nation’s top ranking.
“For whatever reason, the last couple times we’ve played agains them, we’ve played them real well,” said Finwood, who’s team last season beat the Cavaliers 8-1 at Harbor Park, and became the first ODU baseball history to take down the nation’s no. 1 team. “Obviously last year at Harbor Park, we had a great crowd,” said Finwood.
“They helped us. When you play in front of a big crowd like that, and they’re cheering for you, it helps your guys play better, without a doubt.”
The Monarchs (20-23) then walloped coach Brian O’Connor’s Hoos 15-4 in Charlottesville, where UVA was virtually unbeatable last season.
Both teams are searching for consistency in 2015, and the Monarchs are still expecting to face one of the top programs in the nation. “Playing UVA should get everybody excited,” said senior outfielder Josh Eldridge. “Just the fact that it’s a in-state rivalry, and they’re a perennial power house. Beating them is just so great, especially if we do it on our home turf and our home area of Norfolk.”
And unlike last year’s cold and rainy outting, weather is expected to cooperate. First pitch is set for 7:00 pm, with a firework display scheduled to follow the game.