'Hoos Work Around Snow Days as ACC Opener Approaches

The top-ranked Virginia baseball team won't take the field again until the Cavaliers open ACC play at Duke this weekend.

UVa was supposed to wrap up its homestand with a pair of home games this week. But both Tuesday's game against George Washington and Wednesday's visit by Old Dominion were snowed out, and rescheduled for next month.

"It's unfortunate, because I've always believed that this game of baseball is meant to be played every day, play as many games as possible," UVa coach Brian O'Connor said Tuesday. "And to not be able to play in the middle of the week, going into your conference series, is certainly not ideal."

Instead, the Cavaliers will have a five-day layoff between last weekend's three-game sweep of Monmouth, and Friday's ACC opener in Durham.

"It's the situation we're in. And we'll make the most of it," said O'Connor. "We'll get some good practice in this week, and hopefully improve on some areas that I feel over the next three weeks that we need to get better at. And then we'll be looking forward to getting started with conference play this weekend at Duke."

The 9-2 Cavaliers were the preseason pick to win the ACC baseball title this spring. On Monday, UVa remained atop the Baseball America national rankings, despite the Cavaliers' home loss to VMI last week.

O'Connor talked Tuesday about using the extra practice time this week on situational hitting (moving runners, hit-and-run spots, bunting). He also said he's been pleased with his team's infield defense -- a point of emphasis for the Cavaliers entering the year -- through the season's first three weeks.

He also expressed confidence in the veterans on his team to be able to overcome this longer-than-usual layoff for the first week of March.

"Certainly, a lot of guys in that locker room have been through different situations, different scenarios before, that are out of the norm. And this is just another one of them," O'Connor said. "And we just need to concentrate this week on getting better, and improving our game, and hopefully we come out and play really good baseball in the opening conference weekend."

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