No. 24 Baseball Returns From Break to Host No. 2 UNC
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. After taking a nine-day hiatus for final exams, the No. 24 Virginia baseball team returns to ACC play this weekend as it plays host to second-ranked North Carolina in a three-game series at Davenport Field. The teams start the series at 6 p.m. Friday, followed by a 6 p.m. game Saturday and 1 p.m. contest Sunday.
All three games will be webcast live on ACC Select, while WINA Radio (1070 AM) also will have live coverage of the entire series. Live statistics will be available at VirginiaSports.com.
The Tar Heels come to Charlottesville as the highest-ranked opponent at Davenport Field in nearly two years. Ironically, North Carolina was the last opponent to come in this highly ranked, as the 2006 team was No. 1 when it visited Davenport Field from May 12-14, 2006. Virginia won two of three in that series. UNC also marks the third Top-2 team the Cavaliers have battled this season, joining then-No. 2 Florida State (April 4-6) and No. 1 Miami (April 25-27).
Pitching figures to be the dominant theme of the weekend, as both teams boast a strong pitching staff that ranks among the nation’s best. North Carolina leads the nation in several pitching categories, including ERA (2.21), strikeouts per nine innings (10.1) and hits allowed per nine innings (7.37). Virginia’s pitching staff is not far behind, ranking fifth in ERA (3.33), sixth in strikeouts per nine innings (9.4) and 10th in hits allowed per nine innings (8.15).
Virginia (33-15, 13-11 ACC) went into its break on a high note with an 11-1 win over Mount St. Mary’s on April 29. Jeremy Farrell (Jr., Westlake, Ohio) went 4-for-5 with a home run and two doubles, and Virginia scored in each of the first five innings to jump out to a big lead and used strong pitching to coast from there.
Phil Gosselin (Fr., West Chester, Pa.), after missing a month because of injury, returned to the Virginia lineup and went 3-for-4 with three RBI. Franco Valdes (So., Miami, Fla.) and Greg Miclat (Jr., Concord, N.C.) each added two hits.
North Carolina (39-8, 18-5) won 9-2 Tuesday against North Florida and is scheduled to play host to the Ospreys again on Wednesday. Tim Fedroff leads the Tar Heels with a .399 batting average and nine home runs. Dustin Ackley is batting .395, while Kyle Seager has a .381 batting average, eight homers and league-high 64 RBI.
North Carolina leads the all-time series, 163-85-4. The Tar Heels are Virginia’s most frequent opponent, as the teams have played 252 games all-time. The teams split four games last year, with Virginia winning two of three in Chapel Hill and UNC earning a 5-0 win in the ACC tournament.
Following the UNC series, Virginia next plays at 6 p.m. Tuesday against VMI at Davenport Field.