Cavaliers, Tar Heels Square Off in Top-10 Encounter
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The No. 8 Virginia baseball team battles a Top-20 foe for the third straight weekend when it takes on fifth-ranked North Carolina at the new Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C., this weekend. The teams will face off at 7 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. All three games will be broadcast by WINA 1070-AM and are available online with V Pass. The Saturday game will be webcast by ACC Select.
The two teams are familiar foes. North Carolina is the most frequent opponent of the Cavaliers in program history, with the teams playing 256 total games. UNC leads the all-time series against UVa, 165-87-4.
The teams split four games last year, with the Tar Heels winning two of three in Charlottesville before Virginia prevailed 8-7 in 11 innings in the ACC Baseball Tournament. The teams have split the last 10 meetings.
UVa is wrapping up a brutal ACC stretch in which it is competing against each of the league’s 2008 College World Series participants in consecutive weeks. Two weeks ago the Cavaliers played host to Florida State. Miami came to Charlottesville last weekend, and Virginia travels to North Carolina this weekend.
UVa is 2-2 in the stretch so far (1-0 vs. FSU, 1-2 vs. Miami). Virginia is the lone ACC school to face these three teams in consecutive weeks this year.
Dan Grovatt (So., Tabernacle, N.J.) leads the Cavaliers in batting at .414 fifth in the ACC. Jarrett Parker (So., Stafford, Va.) ranks seventh in the ACC in batting (.400). He leads the ACC in triples (four) and total bases (67) and is among the top 10 in nearly every offensive category.
Virginia leads the ACC and ranks fifth nationally in team batting average (.374 entering the week). The Cavaliers also are fifth in the country in runs (215) and hits (282).
The Cavaliers’ pitching staff ranks third in the country in ERA (2.39 entering the week). UVa also stands third in strikeouts per nine innings (10.4) and fourth in hits allowed per nine innings (6.65)
The defense also has been a strong point. Virginia ranks third in the ACC in team fielding at .969. Since committing a season-high five errors Feb. 27 vs. Fordham, the Cavaliers have made only 11 miscues since. UVa had a .949 fielding percentage in the first eight games, but has a .980 mark over the last 15.
Virginia is coming off two midweek wins over Towson. The Cavaliers won 13-4 on Tuesday before taking a 7-5 decision Wednesday.