Thursday June 18, 2009
Some fans followed the UVa baseball team in Omaha, Nebraska, while others stayed up past their bedtime to watch on television. Either way, Cavalier baseball fans dealing with conflicting emotions.
"I'm pretty mad that they lost," said Kyle Algieri, "but I'm excited to see the players here."
The 8-year-old Algieri, who caught several games this season with his grandfather, pretty much summed up the feelings of many of his fellow fans.
Putting emotion aside, though, amidst the speeches, the autographs, and the photo ops, UVa baseball fans did Thursday what baseball fans do: they debated the game.
"We had a 3-0 count and I think the umpire squeezed [Danny Hultzen] a little bit," Alex Simmons said of a crucial strike call in Wednesday night's extra inning finale against Arkansas. "We should have gotten a ball four and walked in the winning run, but [it] didn't happen. I was just a little disappointed in the team."
"We had every opportunity in the world to put Arkansas away and, for whatever reason, it just didn't happen," added season ticket holder Tim Monahan.
Head Coach Brian O'Connor told fans that this year's squad was the best in the history of Virginia baseball. That is, he said, until next year.
With those words, Wednesday night's disappointment began to fade for many fans and the debate started anew with predictions for the 2010 Cavs.
"I think they're going to go further than they did this year," Nick Algieri said. "Maybe a win [in the College World Series]."
"I'm looking forward to it...seeing what they can do," Simmons added.
"I think when we come out here we'll have a championship trophy in [Coach O'Connor]'s hands," Monahan predicted, adding next year he'll come back out "to meet the team when they come back [from Omaha]."
Opening Day for the 2010 season is eight months away, though. That's eight whole months for the debate to continue and for UVa fans to wait and see if their team will have what it takes to make it back to the College World Series.