Virginia's Joe McCarthy admits he was probably pressing a little to hard at the start of the baseball season.
"Oh, yeah," the sophomore outfielder said on Tuesday night, following his four-hit performance in the Cavaliers' 9-3 win at James Madison. "The swings I was taking were huge compared to how they are now, and I've really just simplified everything."
That simplified approach has paid off for McCarthy, especially over the past two weeks. He's hitting .444 (16 for 36) over the past 10 games, dating back to UVa's 8-1 win at home against Longwood on March 26, with hits in nine of those games.
That hot stretch includes a 5-for-11 performance with seven RBI in a three-game sweep of Virginia Tech last month that earned McCarthy ACC co-player of the week honors. And on Tuesday at JMU, he came up a triple short of the cycle.
"The approach is completely changed from now, from the beginning of the year," McCarthy said. "Just using the field. Keeping a simple approach, and just using the field."
McCarthy, the reigning ACC freshman of the year, enters this weekend's Clemson series hitting .316 with three homers and 27 RBI for the season.
"You knew he would start to put it together at some point. Joe McCarthy is too talented not to," UVa coach Brian O'Connor said Tuesday night. "And hitting's a tough thing to do. Sometimes it comes in streaks, and takes guys a while. But certainly he's seeing the ball really good right now."