CWS Game 9 Preview: Virginia vs Arkansas

(Courtesy of UVA Media Relations)
(Courtesy of UVA Media Relations)

The Virginia Cavaliers and Arkansas Razorbacks will face off tonight at 7pm Eastern time in an elimination game. The winner of the game will face off against the LSU Tigers on Friday at 1pm. The Cavaliers enter with a 49-14-1 record and a 1-1 mark in the College World Series. Virginia lost game 1 of the CWS to LSU by a score of 9-5. (FULL RECAP) then the Cavaliers eliminated Cal-State Fullerton by a score of 7-5. (FULL RECAP). Arkansas enters with a 40-23 record and also 1-1 in the College World Series. Arkansas won game 1 of the CWS by defeating Cal-State Fullerton 10-6. (FULL RECAP). The Razorbacks would lose their next game of the CWS to SEC rival LSU by a score of 9-1. (FULL RECAP)

Virginia will send freshman LHP Danny Hultzen to the hill as he is sporting a record of 9-1 with an ERA of 2.33 in 16 appearances (15 starts). He started the Virginia’s first game against LSU but struggled mightly as he only lasted three innings giving up seven hits while giving up three runs.

Arkansas will counter with redshirt freshman LHP Drew Smyly who has a record of 3-1 with a 4.72 ERA in 15 appearances (13 starts). Smyly hasn’t made a start since the Regionals against Oklahoma where he pitched a near no-hitter against the Sooners. He went 8.1 innings while only allowing one hit and walking two batters.

The key to the game tonight for the Cavaliers is to get Jarrett Parker back on track as he has struggled in the first two games as he is 0-6 with only one run scored. He really drives the Virginia offense as he is really a five tool player.

The key to the game tonight for the Razorbacks offense is for Andy Wilkins and Zack Cox to have big games as they are the two main power threats for them.

Of course, the most important thing for both teams is to get quality starts by Smyly and Hultzen. The game will be shown on ESPN at 7pm eastern time.