Branden Kline began the season as Virginia's opening day starter. And the junior will get the ball again on Thursday in the Cavaliers' first postseason game.
Coach Brian O'Connor said Monday that Kline will start Virginia's ACC Tournament opener against Clemson at 11 a.m. Thursday. O'Connor said he had not yet decided on starters for Friday against Georgia Tech or Saturday against Florida State.
"Branden Kline had an excellent start last time against Clemson. And it's his turn in the rotation," O'Connor explained. "And it actually works out pretty good that our first game isn't until Thursday, because that's a week's rest for him."
Kline received ACC pitcher of the week honors for his first outing against the Tigers, when he gave up just two base-runners in a complete game 5-1 win at Davenport Field on March 24. Now Kline says he's hoping to get the Cavaliers off to a winning start in Greensboro.
"We're just going to try to take it one game at a time. I'm going to try to run with the ball as long and as far as I can possibly go with it," he explained. "Hopefully we can just focus on Clemson, and worry about getting past them first."
Kline is 6-3 with a 3.89 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 81 innings pitched this season. On Monday, he was named All-ACC second team as a starting pitcher. Last year he was named to the first team as the Cavaliers' closer.
He was joined on the All-ACC second team by second baseman Keith Werman and closer Justin Thompson. The Cavaliers, who are the No. 4 seed in the ACC Tournament, didn't put anyone on this year's first team.
"We have a great amount of players that could be on the team as well," Kline said. "It just shows you how good of a conference the ACC actually is. The talent we bring, every single weekend with the different players and different teams. It's just a great honor."
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