WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | Sports

Cavaliers Bring High Expectations into Fall Practice

When the college baseball season begins early next year, there will undoubtedly be lofty expectations for the UVa baseball team. But as the Cavaliers prepare to start fall practice on Saturday, they say they're expecting big things from themselves starting in the fall.

"We talk a lot about expectations, it's part of it," says head coach Brian O'Connor. "I would rather have those expectations than not, that means you have a pretty good ball club, at least people think that you do.

"You just take it on, you look forward to the expectations that we have and hopefully surpassing those expectations."

UVa brings back seven of nine position starters from last year's super regional team. With all of that experience back, the Cavaliers hope they can do more than just get to Omaha.

"Coach always wants us to be a championship team, that's our overall expectation for this year," said junior outfielder Mike Papi. "There's obviously all the smaller things like fundamentals and taking it one game at a time. But we want to be a championship team more than anyone else does, so we're going to take it day by day and try to become that championship team."

The 'Hoos first fall practice begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday at Davenport and is open to the public. UVa will play two exhibition games, against High Point and the Ontario Blue Jays, before their annual Orange and Blue World Series, which runs from Oct. 1-Oct. 20.

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