You knew this was going to happen. Virginia pitcher Danny Hultzen struck out eight of the nine batters he faced and generally flustered the South Carolina offense through the first three innings. He was almost unhittable.
Hultzen also had the flu. Which might make the performance all the more impressive, though stifling the offense of the defending national champions through three innings is impressive to begin with.
The illness is also the reason that Hultzen left the game after the third inning. The question was always how long the Cavs would stay with their starter.
Once Hultzen walked off the mound and was replaced by Kyle Crockett, South Carolina strung together three hits and a hit batter to score a pair of runs and take the lead.
Not that South Carolina starter Michael Roth has looked like chopped liver. Roth has struck out two and allowed just one run on one hit through four innings. But if Virginia is eliminated tonight, it won’t be because of their starting pitcher. It will be at least in part because of the flu.