#HoosNotes: Harrison biding his time behind UVA veterans

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- Freshman outfielder Jalen Harrison is biding his time this spring, his first as a member of the Virginia baseball team.

"Just trying to work on being consistent, in the outfield as well as hitting, and just trying to get everything, the simple details right," Harrison said. "And once you get the simple details right, you can help the team out as much as you can."

Harrison was a sophomore at nearby St. Anne's-Belfield School when he committed to UVA in November 2013. That long wait ended when he arrived at the school last summer.

Harrison started all seven games of last fall's Orange and Blue World Series, hitting .167 with a home run and three RBI in 24 at-bats. He also struck out a team-high 13 times, while facing Division I pitchers for the first time in his career.

"It was very tough at first, because everybody is at the same level as you, or even better," he said. "So just trying to get better, each and every day, and trying to get to your best point in your career is something you try to do every day."

Harrison has made one appearance through UVA's first four games this season, coming off the bench to score a run as a pinch runner in last Saturday's win over The Citadel. The Virginia lineup seems set in all three outfield spots, with Jake McCarthy in left field, Adam Haseley in center, and Cam Simmons in right.

Harrison has seen most of his time in practice in left field. He says he's trying to soak up whatever constructive criticism the veteran UVA coaching staff has to offer.

"They tell you what you need to hear," he said. "They tell you what you might not want to hear at some times, but they definitely help you each and every day."


Friday's opener of a three-game weekend set at Davenport Field against Rutgers will now start at 4 p.m. instead of 3 p.m., Virginia announced on Friday.

Next Friday's home game against Niagara has also been pushed back an hour to a 4 p.m. first pitch, the school said. Niagara's game Friday morning at Davenport against LaSalle will now be a noon start.


The Wahoos will enter the weekend with the same starting pitching plans as a week ago, when UVA opened its seasons with three straight wins.

"I thought Daniel Lynch and Evan Sperling threw the ball pretty darn well for us," UVA coach Brian O'Connor said this week. "And Adam Haseley, Kansas did a really good job with him, and certainly he'll improve on his outing from Sunday."

Lynch pitched into the seventh inning on opening day, giving up one run on four hits and striking out six in a 10-2 UVA win over Liberty. Sperling also struck out six, and gave up just two hits and one unearned run in six innings in his UVA debut a day later, a 10-6 win over The Citadel.

Haseley, the Cavaliers' most experienced starter entering the season, was knocked around for four runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings against Kansas last Sunday. UVA rallied from a six-run hole in the seventh inning to win that game 9-6.

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