After a couple of weeks with the UVa Baseball team flirting with the top spot in the various polls, their 5-0 performance over the past week has earned them the top spot in the CBI Composite Poll for the first time all season.
The College Baseball Insider Composite Poll weighs the four primary national polls (Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and USA Today/ESPN Coaches) evenly, assigning a point value based on a team place in each ranking. Virginia (36-3) received a score of ‘4’ which means they are first in each poll. They are followed by South Carolina (28-7), who is 2nd in each poll after taking 2 of 3 from then number one Vanderbilt over the weekend. Vandy (32-5) slipped to 3rd with a score of 13, followed by Texas (27-9) and Florida (28-9).
As far as the rest of the ACC teams are concerned, all three of the previous teams slipped over the weekend. FSU (26-10) dropped one spot from 10 to 11 after going 2-1 versus Virginia Tech. Georgia Tech (27-10) moved down from 12 to 14 with a similar 2-1 mark against Wake Forest. But the biggest decline was North Carolina (30-8) who were swept by NC State over the weekend, and went from 6th to 13th.
Virginia will play a pair of weekday games this week, beginning tonight against Radford (21-14), who the Hoos defeated earlier this season 2-0 at home. In a move sure to shake up the rotation this weekend, Cody Winarski will get the start against the Highlanders. More on that in a minute. Wednesday, the Cavaliers will come home to play Richmond (18-15-2) in the first of a home-and-home split. No pitcher has been announced for this game yet. This weekend, the Cavs play host to the afore mentioned NC State Wolfpack (21-16, 8-10 ACC), who are coming off a sweep of UNC.
This will be the Hoos last 5-game-week of the regular season as Virginia tries and lock down their pitching rotation for the last 3 weeks of the regular season. Known is who the #1 and #2 pitchers are: Hultzen and Wilson. But the last spot has been up in the air for the past couple of weeks. Last week, the Hoos started Cody Winarski (4-2, 3.77 ERA) on Wednesday vs. Coastal Carolina and pitched Will Roberts (8-0, 1.11 ERA) on Tuesday and Sunday against Georgetown and Duke, respectively. Virginia’s pitcher on Wednesday will determine the direction Brian O’Connor is heading in. If Roberts gets the call you could see Winarski or Roberts on Sunday, depending on how they fare this week. If someone else gets the start against Richmond, say Whit Mayberry or Kyle Crockett, O’Connor is saving Roberts for Game 3 on Sunday against NCSU.
While this won’t be the end-all-be-all if Will or Cody pitches on Sunday, it should give the Hoos something to ponder for the rest of the season. Roberts has the better ERA and performances this season, it has come mainly at home to “weekday” competition, while Winarski has the experience against better competition, but also has started in each of the 3 UVa losses, two of which he received the L. When you are 36-3 and have 4 capable pitchers, it’s not a bad dilemma to have. But when you are trying to make it back to Omaha, you want to have your rotation as tight as can be.