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March 9, 2006

Games 17-19
VIRGINIA (14-2, 0-0 ACC)At (#1) Georgia Tech (14-0, 0-0 ACC)Mar. 10-12, 2006
Russ Chandler Stadium
Atlanta, Ga.

Fri. Mar. 10, 4 p.m.
UVa: LHP Mike Ballard (3-0, 1.48 ERA) vs. GT: RHP Blake Wood (4-0, 6.00 ERA)
Gametracker 1

Sat. Mar. 11, 1 p.m.
UVa: RHP Jacob Thompson (4-0, 1.38 ERA) vs. GT: LHP Lee Hyde (2-0, 2.14 ERA)
Gametracker 2

Sun. Mar. 12, 1 p.m.
UVa: LHP Sean Doolittle (3-0, 0.52 ERA) vs. GT: LHP Tim Ladd (2-0, 2.45 ERA)
Gametracker 3

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Virginia travels to Atlanta, Ga., to face No. 1 Georgia Tech in the opening Atlantic Coast Conference series for both teams. Friday’s game is scheduled for 4 p.m. while the games Saturday and Sunday are slated to start at 1 p.m. Virginia’s rotation of LHP Mike Ballard, RHP Jacob Thompson and LHP Sean Doolittle will face Georgia Tech’s trio of RHP Blake Wood, LHP Lee Hyde and LHP Tim Ladd.

The Yellow Jackets (14-0) enter this week ranked No. 1 by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and the USA Today Coaches’ Poll as the Yellow Jackets are riding a nation-best 14-game winning streak. Georgia Tech is one of two undefeated teams left in the country. The Yellow Jackets needed a two-run home run from Steven Blackwood in the seventh inning to hold off Northeastern, 2-1, Tuesday. Georgia Tech outscored Rutgers, 48-14, last weekend to sweep a three-game series. Outfielder Danny Payne leads the team while hitting .414 with a team-best 24 hits in 58 at-bats, 20 runs scored and 16 RBIs. First baseman Whit Robbins hits .400 with a team-best four home runs and 26 RBI. Ga. Tech is hitting .314 as a team and has a 3.07 ERA. The Yellow Jackets have hit 12 home runs in 14 games and averages 9.4 runs per game.

Georgia Tech leads the all-time series with Virginia, 57-33-1. The Yellow Jackets defeated UVa, 4-3, in the 2005 ACC Tournament Championship game. Virginia is 6-1 against Georgia Tech under head coach Brian O’Connor having swept the last two-three-game series from the Yellow Jackets during the regular season.

Mar. 4, 2004 UVA 4, GT 3 Atlanta, Ga.
Mar. 5, 2004 UVA 2, GT 1 Atlanta, Ga.
Mar. 6, 2004 UVA 8, GT 5 (10 innings) Atlanta, Ga.
Apr. 22, 2005 UVA 4, GT 2 Charlottesville, Va.
Apr. 23, 2005 UVA 9, GT 2 Charlottesville, Va.
Apr. 24, 2005 UVA 2, GT 1 Charlottesville, Va.
May. 24, 2005 GT 4, UVa 3 Jacksonville, Va. (ACC Championship)

Virginia is 14-2 on the season after picking up two wins Tuesday against Maryland Eastern Shore. The Cavaliers outscored the Hawks, 35-3, in the doubleheader … The Cavaliers have matched their best start under head coach Brian O’Connor, who picked up career win No. 99 Tuesday. O’Connor, who is in his third season at UVa, needs one win for his 100th win at UVa. He would be the quickest UVa coach to 100 wins … O’Connor swept his 15th three-game series last weekend. He has swept 15 of the 27 three-game series he has coached in at UVa including eight ACC series … Since losing the 17-inning affair at College of Charleston, UVa has won six straight games. The Cavaliers are hitting .449 during that stretch with 96 runs on 102 hits and 90 runs batted in. UVa outscored Saint Joseph’s, 50-4 last weekend and Maryland Eastern Shore, 35-3, in the doubleheader. UVa has outscored its opponents, 96-12, the last six games including two 20-run games and two 20-hit games. Virginia’s 23-hit performance last Friday were the most by an O’Connor team … Virginia’s pitching staff has posted a 1.68 ERA during the winning streak while striking out 55 in 50 innings pitched. Opponents have hit .168 in the last six games … Four UVa pitchers combined for a one-hitter in the 15-1 win over the Hawks … Six UVa pitchers combined for a three-hit shutout of Maryland Eastern Shore in the 15-0 win … UVa enters the GT series hitting .364 as a team with 165 runs on 214 hits. UVa’s pitchin staff has compiled a 2.14 ERA thus far with 147 K’s in 147 innings while opponents are hitting .203 against the Cavaliers.

– Freshman right-hander Jacob Thompson no-hit Saint Joseph’s through six innings and struck out five batters to earn his fourth win of the season in leading four pitchers in a one-hitter in the 15-1 win over SJU. Pat McAnaney, Nick Cruit and Andrew Carraway also contributed in the first one-hitter under O’Connor.
– Senior lefty Mike Ballard improved to 3-0 after recording six strikeouts in seven innings in a 21-0 win over Saint Joseph’s.
– Sophomore lefty Sean Doolittle picked up two wins on the week after striking out 11 in nine innings in two appearances last week. Doolittle allowed three hits and struck out six in six innings in the 11-5 win over George Washington. In the final game of the series against Saint Joseph’s, he no-hit the Hawks through three innings and struck out five. He now has a 0.52 ERA while teams are hitting .088 against him.
– Freshman shortstop Greg Miclat is hitting .500 (10-for-20, 9 Runs, 7 RBIs) during UVa’s win-streak. He hit .538 (7-for-15) with five runs scored and six RBI last week. Miclat went 3-for-4 with four RBI in the series finale against SJU and had a 3-for-3, 1 RBI performance in game one against UMES.
– Sophomore outfielder Brandon Guyer has also been hot during the six-game win streak. Guyer has driven in 15 runs in the last six games on 13 hits while batting .565 and boasted a 1.000 slugging percentage. He hit .533 (8-for-15) with 6 runs scored, four walks and 7 RBI last week while posting a .632 on-base percentage and slugging .867. In the second game against Saint Joseph’s, he went 3-for-6 with one run scored and 4 RBI including three doubles. Guyer played in both games of the UMES doubleheader and finished 5-for-8 with eight RBI.
Sean Doolittle is easing back into old form. Doolittle is batting .500 lately with eight runs scored and 10 RBI in the last six games. He has walked seven times while posting a .607 on-base percentage. He also had a good last week at the plate as he hit .533 (8-for-15) with two doubles, four runs scored and 8 RBI and three walks.
– Junior outfielder Tim Henry brings an 8-game hitting streak into the weekend also having hit .500 during the UVa win streak. Henry has 10 hits, 10 runs scored and nine RBI in the last six games. He went 4-for-7 with six RBIs in the first game of the SJU series. He was the first Cavalier in three years to have six RBIs in a game. He finished the week 8-for-17 with seven runs scored and seven RBI.
– Junior outfielder Brandon Marsh is the Hoos’ top-hitter, batting .559. Marsh is hitting .667 in the last six games going 12-for-18 with 11 runs scored and five RBI. He’s slugging .889.
– Junior catcher Ryan Hudson made his first start of the season in the SJU series finale. Hudson went 4-for-4 with four runs scored and four RBI including a three-run home run, the first homer by UVa at Davenport Field this season.

Sophomore Sean Doolittle was named to the College Baseball Foundation’s Weekly Honor Roll after picking up two wins last week to run his record to (3-0) on the season. Doolittle tossed nine innings and recorded 11 strikeouts. He only allowed three hits in nine innings as teams hit .100 against him. On the season, he has a 0.52 ERA and one save, has struck out 22 in 17.1 innings, and given up only five hits and one earned run. Opponents are hitting .088 against him. At the plate, Doolittle also hit .533 (8-for-15) last week with two doubles, four runs scored, 8 RBI and three walks.

Virginia is 14-2 after its first 16 games, which was the same way the 2004 Cavaliers, Brian O’Connor’s first team, started off its season. UVa was 14-2 in 2004 heading to Atlanta, Ga. for the ACC opener with Georgia Tech, which is also the case for this weekend. The 2004 Cavaliers went on to sweep the Yellow Jackets who were ranked No. 17 at the time.

In every meeting between Virginia and Georgia Tech under O’Connor, the Yellow Jackets have been ranked. UVa swept No. 17 Georgia Tech in 2004 in Atlanta and swept No. 4 Georgia Tech in 2005 in Charlottesville. UVa fell to No. 7 Georgia Tech in the 2005 ACC Tournament Championship game. The Yellow Jackets are the top-ranked team in the nation heading into this weekend’s series with the Cavaliers.

Virginia scored 21 runs in the shutout of Saint Joseph’s, which was the largest margin of victory by a Brian O’Connor team and tied the most runs by a UVa team since a 21-10 win over Virginia Tech in 2004. Strangely enough, UVa recorded 23 hits, but 20 of the 23 hits were singles. UVa had only three extra-base hits in the win – two doubles from Tim Henry and a double from Sean Doolittle.

Virginia outscored Saint Joseph’s 50-4 in the three-game series, which were the most runs scored in a three games series in school history. Virginia had scored 50 runs in two-game series with Maryland in 1990 under Dennis Womack. The Cavaliers defeated the Terrapins, 21-19, and 29-10, Apr. 27-28, 1990.

Virginia might have tied what is believed to be the longest game in school history when the Cavaliers played 17 innings at the College of Charleston, Sun. Feb. 26. The Cougars scored on an unearned run in the bottom of the 17th to win, 7-6. Virginia won a 17-inning game in 1925, when the Cavaliers defeated Columbia (NY), 5-4.

Head coach Brian O’Connor already has 99 career wins at Virginia and needs just one win to reach his first milestone. O’Connor would become the first UVa head coach to reach 100 wins in three years or less.

Sophomore outfielder Brandon Guyer has been an extra-base kind of guy lately. Of Guyer’s last 10 hits in the last four games, seven are extra base-hits (5 doubles, 1 triple and 1 home run). Guyer leads the team with 11 extra-base hits. He has seven doubles, three triples and one home run thus far this season.

Virginia and Georgia Tech open its Atlantic Coast Conference season fighting for first place in the ACC Coastal Division. With the addition of Boston College, the ACC now has 12 baseball teams and have split the conference in to the Atlantic Division and Coastal Division. Maryland, Florida State, Boston Collegem Clemson, Wake Forest, NC State make up the Atlantic Division, while UVa is joined by Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Miami and Virginia Tech in the Coastal Division. Virginia will play everyone except Florida State in 2006 in a three-game series.

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