The Virginia baseball team will be without one of its top hitters for the next four to six weeks.
Junior left fielder Derek Fisher suffered a broken hamate bone in his right wrist during the Duke series over the weekend and is scheduled to have surgery Monday.
The preseason All-American is batting .333 with four doubles and seven RBI this season. He’s a career .300 hitter with 14 home runs and 104 RBI.
The athletic 6-foot-3, 210-pounder is considered to be one of the top college players eligible for June’s Major League Baseball Draft.
Fisher didn’t play during UVa’s 13-2 rout of James Madison on Tuesday. When asked about Fisher’s absence, Cavalier coach Brian O’Connor confirmed the wrist injury.
“The doctors are looking at him and things like that,” O’Connor said. “It’s something that I didn’t want to take a chance with him today. We’ll know a lot more in the next 24 hours what we’re dealing with.”
Wednesday’s announcement revealed the No. 3 Wahoos (12-3, 2-1 ACC) will have to fill a significant hole in their lineup.
After batting in the five-spot for the first eight games, Fisher was moved to third in the order before the start of the Monmouth series on March 1.
With Fisher sidelined against the Dukes, O’Connor moved Mike Papi from leadoff to the three-hole. He responded with a 2-for-4, two home run performance.
“You’re going up there and you’re facing the pitcher,” Papi said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re leading off or batting eighth or ninth, you’re still getting pitches, you still have to hit them.”
Rob Bennie, a sophomore, filled Fisher’s spot in the outfield. He batted ninth and contributed with a two-RBI triple in the sixth inning.
The Fisher-less lineup had this look: Branden Cogswell batting first and playing second base, Daniel Pinero batting second and playing shortstop, Papi batting third and playing first base, Brandon Downes batting fourth and playing center field, Joe McCarthy batting fifth and playing right field, Nick Howard batting sixth as the designated hitter, Nate Irving batting seventh and catching, Kenny Towns batting eighth and playing third base and Bennie.
Virginia had 16 hits.
“Things got shuffled a little today,” said Cogswell, who was moved from the two-hole. “We don’t know if Coach O’Connor will stick with that. We’ll see.”
Cogswell, a reigning All-ACC honoree, missed the final month of last season with a broken finger. Virginia went 11-4 in his absence and advanced to an NCAA Super Regional.
Fisher missed six games last season with an ankle injury. UVa went 5-1 during that time.
The Cavaliers begin a three-game series with Boston College (6-9, 0-3) on Friday. First pitch at Davenport Field is scheduled for 5 p.m.