The regular shortstop was the designated hitter. The regular right fielder was in center. The starting pitcher was a reliever. The usual catcher had the day off.
If Wednesday was your first chance to check out the Virginia baseball team this season, you saw a different lineup backed by a different look to its staff.
But as for the result? Well, that hardly ever changes in 2013.
The No. 11 Cavaliers improved to 19-2 with a 10-0 whipping of Yale before 2,316 at Davenport Field.
“In the last two ballgames here with Yale, we’ve obviously shown that we have some good depth,” said UVa coach Brian O’Connor, whose Cavs beat the Bulldogs 14-3, on Tuesday, “some options with some players that haven’t gotten a lot of opportunities. It was good to run five different pitchers out there today and give them a chance to stay sharp, and give guys like Robbie Coman and John LaPrise and some other guys some opportunities.”
It was just another ho-hum mid-week game rout for the Wahoos. In their six such contests this year, they’re 6-0 with a winning margin of nine runs.
But Wednesday’s cruise came with new passengers. There was Coman, the freshman catcher making his first career start, ripping an RBI double in the second inning. There was LaPrise, the freshman shortstop in his first start, getting an RBI groundout in the second. There was rookie Rob Bennie getting his first career hit in the sixth and second career RBI in the seventh.
And then there was Josh Sborz. The first-year righty from McLean, Va., entered Wednesday with a 1.69 ERA over nine innings of pure relief. The reigning high school player of the year in the Commonwealth had been a bullpen gem to this point, even working two key spots over the weekend at Clemson.
But this is a rare five-game week for Virginia and O’Connor needed another starter to go with his regular rotation of Trey Oest, Brandon Waddell, Scott Silverstein and Nick Howard.
“The decision to start Josh Sborz today was mainly based on he’s had a lot of appearances for us,” O’Connor said. “But I wanted to get him out there and get him to throw 45 pitches in an outing. Obviously, he was a starter in high school and did a great job. And he’s been relieving for us here so far.
“It was an opportunity to start him knowing that we have two days off before we start the series with N.C. State.”
The decision sat fine with Sbrorz.
“I was pretty ecstatic,” Sborz said. “I told my parents right away. I called them. They were pretty happy, too, because I still love starting.”
The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder then showed it with three innings of work that included just four hits and four strikeouts in three innings before his classmates David Rosenberger, Cameron Tekker and Kevin Doherty joined with Whit Mayberry to keep the Bulldogs scoreless.
Through 21 games, UVa has six shutouts.
“All those freshmen pitchers are certainly getting some great experiences this year,” O’Connor said. “They’ve been thrown right into the fire and are really doing some very, very good things.”
On Wednesday, nine Virginia freshmen — position players, included — contributed to a victory that showed off its loaded roster.
“It also speaks to the coaching staff,” said Coman, who gave Nate Irving a rest for the first time this season. “In the fall, we practice like it’s a game. We practice like you play. These guys are ready to go at any given moment.
“When they’re given the opportunity, it’s not surprising to me that they’re being successful.”
Veterans Derek Fisher, Mike Papi and Reed Gragnani each had two hits for UVa, which will begin its home series with No. 16 N.C. State at 1 p.m., Saturday.
Yale fell to 1-9.