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Top-ranked Cavaliers face Colonials at home

Team reaches top spot after edging No. 11 East Carolina last weekend, squares off against winless Colonials this afternoon

Virginia Cavaliers OF Jarrett Parker (13) slides in to home to score a run.  The #16 ranked Virginia Cavaliers baseball team defeated the Siena Saints 17-2 at the University of Virginia's Davenport Field in Charlottesville, VA on February 29, 2008.
Virginia Cavaliers OF Jarrett Parker (13) slides in to home to score a run. The #16 ranked Virginia Cavaliers baseball team defeated the Siena Saints 17-2 at the University of Virginia's Davenport Field in Charlottesville, VA on February 29, 2008.

After edging then-No. 11 East Carolina two games to one during its opening weekend series, the Virginia baseball team faces George Washington today at 2 p.m. in its home opener at Davenport Field. The Cavaliers jumped to No. 1 in the national rankings after edging the Pirates, earning the top spot for the first time in the program's history.

"It's definitely awesome. It's cool to know that us as a program are the ones who put it together and did that No. 2 ranking," junior outfielder Jarrett Parker said. "But at the same time, [we] just gotta keep working hard every day."

They face a George Washington team that lost three contests against No. 11 North Carolina this past weekend. Junior Eric Cantrell, the Colonials' No. 1 pitcher, started the Colonials' first game against the Tar Heels and went five innings, while giving up three earned runs and tallying four strikeouts. The team, however, fell 6-5 in a game that went 10 innings. Junior Joe Richardson pitched six lights-out innings in the second game of the series, but the Colonials gave up four runs in the seventh to fall 4-2. George Washington fell behind quickly in the final contest but narrowed the deficit to 4-3 during the top of the fourth. The Tar Heels pitched five scoreless innings after that, however, finishing the final game of a close series with a 6-3 win.

"They're a good squad ... So we're just going to play like we would any other day - go out, execute, do the right things, and we'll be fine," Parker said.

The Cavaliers clinched the series against the Pirates after surviving a late rally during the contest Sunday to win 14-11. The series marked Virginia's first time on a diamond this season after inclement weather closed its usual practice fields until this week.

"Being able to come out here for our game, we really look forward to it," senior infielder Keith Werman said. "Hopefully we get a great crowd, kick of the season here at home"

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