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Virginia baseball wins big weekend series against Georgia Tech

Virginia's baseball team would have entered this past weekend's series ranked No. 1 if its bullpen did not surrender leads against North Carolina State last weekend, but in taking two out of three games against No.2 Georgia Tech, the fourth-ranked Cavaliers appeared like a top-ranked team.

I attended Friday's game, when sophomore Danny Hultzen out-pitched Georgia Tech's Deck McGuire -- the reigning ACC pitcher of the year and a likely top 10 selection in June's draft. The Cavaliers also secured a 9-1 victory on Sunday to seal the series.

In Friday's game, relievers Tyler Wilson and Kevin Arico took over Hultzen in the eight and ninth innings. They both struck out the side, fortifying the final two innings of the game and making up for the bullpen's woes in the previous weekend.

"These guys are our guys," O'Connor said. "They were our guys last year down the stretch pitching in the clutch for us in our run to Omaha last year, and they'll be our guys out of the bullpen. They got really good stuff, they got a lot of pride, a lot of guts. And you're seeing a couple of other guys down there beginning to emerge, too. So, it doesn't always have to be them. Those guys are the guys that got us here, and we'll continue to use them."

Hultzen has been the definition of a Friday ace throughout the season. Against the Yellow Jackets, Hultzen allowed four runs in seven innings while striking out 11. All the runs came in the fifth inning when Hultzen allowed two home runs, but he was dominant the rest of the way while dominating one of the best pitchers in college baseball.

"I try not to think about that kind of stuff, but it's hard not to," Hultzen said. "With a guy like Deck McGuire, you know our offense may not score as many runs as they usually do. So, that kind of drips into your mind. But you try not to think about it."

By Zach Berman  |  April 12, 2010; 10:34 AM ET
 | Tags: Brian O'Connor, Danny Hultzen, Virginia baseball  
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