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Aces at VT, UNC Have History Together
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #433, May 21, 2010
Virginia Tech ace Jesse Hahn and UNC star Matt Harvey have a lot in common. They are both tall right handers who are expected to make a lot of money by playing baseball at the next level. Their futures look very similar.
Their pasts are also very similar. Both players pitched for Ed Harvey, Matt's father, at Fitch High School in Connecticut. That's right, a pair of possible first round picks used to share the same pitching mound in high school, in Connecticut of all places. Both decided to head south for college, and they ended up as foes on rival teams in the same division of the ACC.
Harvey was the #1 baseball prospect in America coming out of high school. So far this season, his junior year, he is 7-3 with a 3.10 ERA. Opposing hitters are batting just .227 against him.
He beat the Hokies on Thursday night, going 7.1 innings and striking out seven batters. Harvey pitched well until the eight inning, when he was tagged for three runs and forced to leave the game.
Nevertheless, Tech starter Justin Wright was tagged for seven runs in just 3.1 innings and UNC got the 13-6 win. The Tar Heels are fighting for their postseason lives and in danger of not making the ACC Tournament.
Hahn will get his shot, hopefully, on Saturday against UNC. He has missed a lot of action because of a sore arm recently, and he finally returned to the rotation in Tech's last ACC series against Duke. He was rusty, but it was good to have him back. Hopefully he can get the Hokies a win and cancel out Thursday's win for his old high school teammate.
Hahn and Harvey must have been quite a duo in high school. Though Harvey's junior stats aren't recorded in his bio on the UNC website, the numbers we do have for both pitchers show that they were very difficult to hit.
That's a lot of wins, a couple of very low ERA's, and we didnít even cover strikeouts. Harvey had 112 strikeouts in 54.2 innings of work as a senior. Averaging that many strikeouts per game, it's hard to understand how he managed to lose a start that year.
Hahn wasn't quite the strikeout pitcher than Harvey was in high school, but he was no slouch. He struck out 65 in 40 innings, while pitching one no-hitter and three 1-hitters as a senior.
Hahn and Harvey won't get a chance to face each other in a head-to-head matchup this year. However, you can be sure that they both want their respective team to win badly for bragging rights back in Connecticut.
With UNC taking the first game of the series, the Tar Heels are still in the hunt to make the ACC Tournament. The top eight teams make the tournament, and right now UNC is sitting in ninth place with a 12-16 record. NC State and Boston College have a 13-15 record. UNC will need to win as many games as possible against the Hokies. The teams play again on Friday night at 7pm, and the final game of the series is Saturday at 2pm.
Virginia Tech has already clinched a spot in the ACC Tournament. However, continuing to win will increase their chances of hosting an NCAA Regional on the weekend of June 4.
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