Precautions are being taken in the hopes of playing Friday's NCAA regional baseball games at Davenport Field before storm clouds arrive in central Virginia.
The NCAA decided Thursday afternoon to move the start times of both games up, in the hopes of avoiding the spring storm expected to hit the area Friday afternoon. Virginia and Army will now play at 11 a.m. Friday, with Appalachian State and Oklahoma slated to start 50 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.
Virginia players were asked about the possibility of the game being moved up following Thursday's open practice, before the official decision was made. But the Cavaliers said they didn't think they'd be affected by any change in schedule.
"Not at all," said junior outfielder Colin Harrington. "We're so mentally prepared for tomorrow, it doesn't matter what time we play."
"It's still the same game. The field's not going to change," said senior first baseman Jared King. "So I think we'll be fine."
Junior pitcher Branden Kline will start for the Cavaliers against Army on Friday morning. Kline was Virginia's opening day starter, and also got the start in last week's ACC Tournament opener against Clemson. He's 6-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 14 starts this season.
"In postseason, there's always that added pressure," Kline said Thursday. "But if you just take it one pitch at a time, just play like a normal baseball game, you should be fine. We've been able to do that the entire year, and not look past anybody, not put any team in front of the other. Just playing one game at a time. That's how we got to this point, so that's just all we need to take care of."
"We have so much confidence in him. He's been the ace of our staff the whole year, our workhorse," said Harrington. "So we're just very confident in him, and what he can do out there. We're just looking to play good defense and hit the ball, score some runs for him."