For the Love of the Game

By: Philip Stewart
By: Philip Stewart
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June 4, 2006

Sunday evening, even though UVA was eliminated and the crowd at Davenport Field was significantly smaller, there was at least one couple who were just out to enjoy an evening at the ballpark.

Marvin and Maxine Ripley are serious UVA baseball fans.

"We usually are season ticket holders, and we have been for the last three years," said Maxine.

"This year we only missed one game," said Marvin. "Unfortunately, that was the game that Ballard pitched a no-hitter! But other than that, we've been to every game."

Some fans today left the UVA game early when the rain came, and when things weren't looking very good for the Cavs.

"They haven't been playing as well as they could, [the Cavs] gave up a couple of home runs early, a lot of walks," said Adam Ventre, as he left Davenport. "It's just kind of disappointing."

But Sunday evening, long after the Cavs were eliminated from the tournament, and long after most of the other UVA fans went home, there the Ripley's were, just enjoying the sport they both say they love.

"I been in baseball so long that I don't care who's playing. Of course I love when Virginia's playing," said Marvin. "I wish we were still playing, but we just love baseball."

For teams like South Carolina, they're still very much involved in this tournament, and their fans are still here.

Jimmy Farotto was one of those Carolina fans. His son is a freshman pitcher for the team.

"They feel great," said Farotto, who drove six hours from Greenville, South Carolina to see the team play. "Like I said, two and 0 start, we knocked off a great UVA team yesterday, which maybe a lot of folks don't really want to hear about, but it was a great UVA team."

For that great UVA baseball team, Maxine Ripley had some words of encouragement.

"Keep the chin up," she said. "The fans still love 'em, and we'll be back rooting for them next year."

Sunday evening before the end of the Evansville-Carolina game, they said they were rooting for Evansville. But not because they're fans of that team, but because an Evansville win, would have meant they would have one more game to go to on Monday.

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