Virginia Steps Out of ACC Play This Week vs. Towson
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The Virginia baseball team will look to bounce back from its first defeats of 2009 when it plays host to Towson at 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at Davenport Field.
Virginia (19-2, 5-2 ACC) saw its season-opening 19-game win streak come to a halt over the weekend as No. 4 Miami staged rallies Saturday and Sunday to take the final two games of the series. UVa had several chances to put more runs on the board but could not get timely hits and left 21 runners on base in the two losses.
UVa won the first game of the series, 9-4, before suffering 4-3 and 7-5 losses in the final two contests.
Danny Hultzen (Fr., Bethesda, Md.) was the Cavaliers’ top hitter last week, going 8-for-13 (.615) with five RBI and a team-high .688 on base percentage. Tyler Cannon (Jr., Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) hit .421 (8-for-19) last week, while Phil Gosselin (So., West Chester, Pa.) continued to be the Cavaliers’ top run producer with a team-best seven RBI. He is second in the ACC with 28 RBI this year.
Towson is 12-10 this year after dropping two of three games in a home series against Delaware last weekend. The Tigers have been powerful offensively, with a .323 batting average and 35 home runs. Gary Helmick leads the team with a .446 batting average and a team-high 18 extra-base hits (8 2B, 4 3B, 6 HR). Steve Yarsinsky is hitting .398 with 12 doubles and 17 RBI. The Tigers have a team ERA of 6.74.
UVa leads the all-time series, 6-2. The teams split a pair of one-run games last year in Charlottesville, with the Cavaliers winning the opener, 9-8, and Towson taking the second game, 7-6.
The Cavaliers hit the road this weekend, visiting North Carolina in a three-game series at the new Boshamer Stadium. The teams will play at 7 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
– Since the Cavaliers committed a season-high five errors Feb. 28 against Fordham, they have shored up the defense. UVa has made just eight errors (.983 fielding percentage) in the 13 games since that point. The Cavaliers committed one error in the Miami series.
– Two bad innings did the Cavaliers in on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday, the Hurricanes scored all four of their runs with two out in the seventh inning. Sunday, Miami scored three in the eighth to rally for the victory.
– Virginia played 13 freshmen or sophomores in the Miami series. In contrast, five juniors or seniors saw playing time.
– Dan Grovatt saw his team-best 19-game hit streak (21 dating to last year) come to an end Saturday vs. Miami. John Hicks now has the longest UVa hit streak at five games.
– Virginia leads the ACC in team batting (.374) and pitching (2.39 ERA) again this week. The Cavaliers hit .296 as a team last week.
– Danny Hultzen is the lone pitcher in the ACC with five wins and has won all five of his starts this year. He also leads the ACC in strikeouts (45), ranks third in ERA (1.69) and sixth in innings pitched (32.0).
– UVa takes its time this year, especially of late. While the first eight games all took less than three hours, nine of the last 13 games have lasted longer than three hours, including Sunday’s three-hour, 36-minute, eight-inning marathon against Miami.
– The Cavaliers have stolen 56 bases thus far by far the most in the ACC. No ACC team has attempted more than 46 stolen bases.
– Virginia now has 20 home runs this year. The Cavaliers did not hit their 20th dinger last year until April 22 and had just 25 the entire season. Five players have at least three long balls this year only three had three or more in 2008.