Virginia Faces Wake Forest In Cavaliers' ACC-Opening Series March 4-6
March 2, 2005
`HOOS UP NEXT?: The Virginia Cavaliers (8-3, 0-0 ACC) will face the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-7, 0-0 ACC) in a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series on March 4-6. The ACC series is the conference opener for both schools. The Cavaliers and Demon Deacons are scheduled to play on Friday, March 4th at 2:30 PM, Saturday, March 5th at 1:30 PM and Sunday, March 6th at 1:00 PM. All three contests are scheduled to be played at Gene Hooks Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. on the campus of WFU.
Wake Forest is the only school in the 11-team ACC that has a losing record heading into the ACC-opening weekend.
LAST TIME THEY MET: Virginia defeated Wake Forest three games to none in last year’s ACC series between the two schools on May 13-15, 2004 in Charlottesville, Va. The Cavaliers defeated the Demon Deacons by the scores of 5-4, 11-7 and 8-6 in the series.
UVA HAS HAD ITS WAY WITH WAKE FOREST IN LAST TWO YEARS: Virginia has defeated Wake Forest six consecutive times and six out of the last seven games played in the past two seasons (2003 and 2004) between the two schools. Last year (2004), Virginia swept Wake Forest three games to none in a three-game ACC series in Charlottesville. In 2003, the Cavaliers won two of out three games against the Demon Deacons in an ACC series in Winston-Salem, N.C. and UVa also knocked WFU out of the 2003 ACC Tournament following a late 12-11 comeback win. Here is a look at Virginia’s results against Wake Forest from the last two seasons:
Date Results Score LocationMay 15, 2004 UVa def. WFU 8-6 Charlottesville Va.May 14, 2004 UVa def. WFU 11-7 Charlottesville Va.May 13, 2005 UVa def. WFU 5-4 Charlottesville Va.May 23, 2003 UVa def. WFU 12-11 Salem, Va.April 27, 2003 UVa def. WFU 6-4 Winston-Salem, N.C.April 26, 2003 UVa def. WFU 13-2 Winston-Salem, N.C.April 25, 2003 WFU def. UVa 2-1 Winston-Salem, N.C.
PROBABLE PITCHING FOR VIRGINIA VS. WAKE FOREST: Virginia is expected to start third-year Mike Ballard (LHP, 3-0, 0.78 ERA, 14K, 23.0 IP) on Friday, third-year Matt Avery (RHP, 2-1, 1.37 ERA, 19K, 19.2 IP) on Saturday and fifth-year senior Jeff Kamrath (RHP, 2-1, 3.44 ERA, 18K, 18.1 IP) on Sunday.
VIRGINIA’S CURRENT RECORD & RANKINGS: Virginia (8-3, 0-0 ACC) is not ranked in this week’s college baseball polls. However, UVa is receiving 13 votes in the Sports Weekly/ESPN Top-25 Poll and is also receiving votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Top-35 Poll. The Cavaliers are not ranked in Baseball America’s Top-25 or in Collegiate Baseball’s Top-30 polls.
HALF OF VIRGINIA’S WINS ARE BY SHUTOUT: Heading into Virginia’s game with Richmond on March 2nd, half of UVa’s wins this season (4-of-8) are by shutout. Here is a look at Virginia’s shutout wins this season:
Date Opponent Score2/12 @ UNC Wilmington W, 2-02/19 Bucknell W, 2-02/23 Old Dominion W, 8-02/26 Fordham W, 5-0
UVA’S ERA IS A-OK: Virginia’s earned run average (ERA) through its first 11 games as a team is 2.32. One of the highlights of the pitching staff is the weekend rotation of Mike Ballard (LHP), Matt Avery (RHP) and Jeff Kamrath (RHP). Ballard is 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA and has pitched a team-high 23.0 innings while allowing just two runs on 14 hits to go along with 14 strikeouts. Avery is 2-1 with a 1.37 ERA and has allowed just three earned runs with 19 strikeouts in 19.2 innings of work. Jeff Kamrath is 2-1 with a 3.44 ERA and has allowed seven earned runs and has struck out 18 batters in 18.1 innings of action.
HIT ME IF YOU CAN: Virginia’s closer Casey Lambert has been nearly impossible to get a hit off of so far this season. Lambert, one of the top closers in the country, has allowed just one hit in 11 at-bats and has struck out seven of the 11 batters he has faced. Lambert has also posted three saves this season.
SIX-GAME WINNING STREAK: Virginia won a season-high six consecutive games this season from February 18-26. The Cavaliers swept Bucknell in a three-game series (February 18-19), defeated Old Dominion (2/23) and swept a doubleheader against Fordham (2/26) to record UVa’s longest win streak of the season.
ALL EYES ARE ON LAMBERT: Virginia’s Casey Lambert was named to the initial watch list for the 2005 National Stopper of the Year Award, sponsored by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). Lambert is one of 30 Division I closers from across the nation in the running for the first-year award. Last season (2004), Lambert tied the UVa school record for most saves in a single season with eight as a true first-year. He turned in a mark of 4-1 with a 2.54 ERA and stuck out 40 batters through 60.1 innings of work to go along with his eight saves last year. This season (2005), Lambert has already recorded three saves in three appearances and has struck out five batters in 2.1 innings of work. At the end the 2005 regular season, the Division I leader in saves and four other relief pitching standouts will be selected as the award’s finalists. These finalists will be released June 1, just prior to the beginning of NCAA regional play. From the list of finalists, the NCBWA’s All-America Committee will select a winner. The inaugural winner will be announced on June 8, two days prior to the beginning of NCAA Super Regional action. The NCBWA, founded in 1962, presents the Xanthus-Dick Howser Trophy to the nation’s top player. It also selects a Division I All-America Team, Division I and III Players of the Week, Division I District Players of the Year and Division III Players of the Year.
O’CONNOR REACHES 50 WINS IN A HURRY: With Virginia’s 8-0 shutout victory over Old Dominion on February 23rd, second-year UVa head coach Brian O’Connor reached the 50-wins mark in his young coaching career. O’Connor recorded his 50th win in only his 67th game as a head coach.
NO RUNS FOR YOU…..OR YOU…..OR YOU…..OR YOU: With its 5-0 shutout win over Fordham on February 26th, UVa posted its fourth shutout this season. The Cavaliers’ 5-0 shutout over Fordham coupled with its 8-0 shutout victory over Old Dominion on February 23rd marked the first time UVa shutout consecutive opponents since defeating Seton Hall 8-0 and 4-0 on March 2, 1996. Virginia has also shutout UNC Wilmington 2-0 on February 12th and shutout Bucknell 2-0 on February 19th.
CAVALIERS NOT BEATING THEMSELVES WITH ERRORS: Last season, much of the success Virginia enjoyed was due to not beating itself with costly errors. In 2004, UVa established a new single-season school record fielding percentage mark of .973 while committing just 62 errors to their opponents 105. Heading into its series with Wake Forest, Virginia’s opponents have committed 26 errors to just 8 for UVa. Against Bucknell in UVa’s three-game series with the Bison, Virginia didn’t commit a single error for the series while Bucknell committed 10, including seven errors in one game. Against UNCW in UVa’s three-game series with the Seahawks on February 11-13, Virginia committed just three errors for the series while UNC Wilmington committed eight, including four errors in one game. Against Fordham, the Rams committed five errors (including four in one game) while the Cavaliers committed just two. errors for the series. The Cavaliers won seven of the nine games in the three series with Fordham, Bucknell and UNC Wilmington and had just five errors to their opponents 23 in all three of those series.
VIRGINIA IN THREE-GAME WEEKEND SERIES ACTION: Virginia has played in three three-game series thus far in 2005 and is 3-0 in weekend series decisions (winning two or more of the three games). UVa defeated UNC Wilmington two games to one (February 11-13), swept Bucknell three games to none and won two of three against Fordham (February 26-27). Virginia stands 7-2 overall in weekend series contests this season. Here is a look at the Cavaliers’ results for weekend series games:
Date Virginia's Opponent Results2/11 @ UNC Wilmington L, 5-22/12 @ UNC Wilmington W, 2-02/13 @ UNC Wilmington W, 7-42/18 Bucknell W, 7-22/19 Bucknell (DH 1) W, 2-02/19 Bucknell (DH 2) W, 13-32/26 Fordham (DH 1) W, 5-02/26 Fordham (DH 2) W, 13-32/27 Fordham L, 3-2
O’CONNOR-METER: Virginia head baseball coach Brian O’Connor is in his second year as UVa’s head coach. His career coaching record at UVa stands at 52-18 overall, 18-6 in the ACC.