clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

ACC Pitcher of the Year Hultzen is the Likely Choice for O'Connor and UVA Against South Carolina

When Virginia Cavaliers head baseball coach Brian O'Connor fills out his lineup card tonight, LHP Danny Hultzen (12-3, 1.41 ERA) is most likely going to have a "1" beside his name to indicate that he's been given the call to take the mound against the South Carolina Gamecocks.  The 'Hoos face an uphill climb to reach the Championship Series by having to beat the defending National Champion Gamecocks twice in order to get to Florida or Vanderbilt, a team looking at the same mountain.  As such, it's doubtful that O'Connor will leave the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft's second overall selection in his non-pitching DH role (Hultzen is expected to sign a contract with the Seattle Mariners for an estimated $13 to $15 million).  You don't leave your best waiting in the hope that you'll be able to reach the next game.  He may never see the mound as an amateur again.  By starting Hultzen tonight, it also allows him an additional day's rest before the Championship Series should Virginia do what South Carolina did last year and win two in the clutches of elimination.  Hultzen is a three-time First Team All-ACC selection, three-time First Team All-America selection, a 2011 Capital One First Team Academic All-American, and a finalist for the 2011 Golden Spikes Award.