Virginia Battles Radford in Salem, Hosts Norfolk State in Midweek Games
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. After a hard-fought weekend series at North Carolina, the Virginia baseball team jumps back into non-conference play this week with two midweek games. Tuesday, the Cavaliers travel to Salem, Va., to take on Radford in a 6 p.m. game at Salem Memorial Baseball Stadium, home of the Single-A Salem Red Sox. Wednesday, Virginia returns home to Davenport Field to face Norfolk State at 6 p.m.
The Cavaliers will be making their first appearance in Salem since the 2004 season when they competed there in the ACC tournament.
Virginia (22-4, 6-4 ACC) comes off a tough series at No. 5 North Carolina, where the Tar Heels took two of the three games, winning the first and third games by one run apiece. UVa took the middle game, 5-2. In the Cavaliers’ four losses this year, three have come by one run while the fourth was by two. All four came to top-five teams (Miami, UNC).
Virginia hit five home runs in the UNC series and now has 25 this season. That matches the Cavaliers’ total from the entire 2008 season (62 games). Six Cavaliers have at least three long balls this year only three players recorded that many last year.
The Cavaliers continue to lead the ACC in batting (.363) and ERA (2.65).
After going 6-for-12 in the UNC series, Dan Grovatt (So., Tabernacle, N.J.) leads the Cavaliers with a .421 batting average. Jarrett Parker (So., Stafford, Va.) is hitting .402 and holds the team lead in doubles (12), triples (four) and home runs (six).
Radford (10-10, 4-3 Big South) won two of three games in its home series with Winthrop over the weekend. After starting the season slowly, Radford has rebounded to win six of its last nine contests. Alex Gregory leads the Highlanders with a .425 batting average. Jeff Kemp is hitting .410 for Radford, which bats .337 as a team. The Highlanders boast a 6.17 team ERA.
The Radford contest is the first of a home-and-home with the Highlanders. Radford is slated to visit Charlottesville on April 15. UVa leads the all-time series with Radford, 13-3-1. The teams met last year in Charlottesville, with the Cavaliers prevailing, 8-2.
Norfolk State (4-9, 1-2 MEAC) is scheduled to play a doubleheader Tuesday at Coppin State before visiting Charlottesville on Wednesday. The Spartans last played on Wednesday at William and Mary, suffering a 10-9, 10-inning loss. Anselmo Cantu leads the Spartans with a .426 batting average, while Jermaine Berry is hitting .400. As a team, NSU is batting .305 and has a 7.11 ERA.
Virginia holds a 10-0 edge in the series with Norfolk State. The teams last met in 2006, a 13-2 UVa win in Charlottesville.
UVa returns to ACC play this weekend, playing host to Maryland in a three-game series.
– UVa hit five home runs against North Carolina last weekend. The team has 25 long balls, matching the total from all of 2008 (62 games).
– The Cavaliers are 3-4 against ranked teams this year, with wins over Florida State, Miami and North Carolina.
– Three of Virginia’s four losses have come by one run. The fourth was by two runs. UVa held leads in all four of its defeats.
– After hitting two opposite-field home runs at North Carolina, Jarrett Parker has a team-best six long balls this year. He did not hit a home run his freshman season.
– Phil Gosselin leads the ACC with 35 runs batted in.
– Dan Grovatt’s game-tying, ninth-inning home run Sunday was his fourth dinger of the year, which tops his 2008 total of three. He broke out a slump by going 6-for-12 last weekend.
– The Cavaliers’ success at the plate has not just been in non-conference play. UVa is hitting .351 as a team in ACC action, and the Cavaliers have hit 13 of their 25 homers in league play. Parker (.450), John Hicks (.425) and Gosselin (.400) all are hitting .400 or better in ACC games. UVa had 29 hits in the UNC series.
– Hicks is currently on a career-best 10-game hitting streak. It is UVa’s second-longest streak of the season, behind Dan Grovatt’s 19-game streak which ended March 21.
– Virginia’s starting pitchers have gone 15-0 this year. The weekend rotation of Danny Hultzen, Andrew Carraway and Will Roberts have combined to go 11-0, including 6-0 in league action.
– Hultzen and Carraway have formed one of the top one-two starting pitching punches in the league. Hultzen is 5-0 with a 1.62 ERA, while Carraway is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA. In league play, Hultzen is 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA, while Carraway is 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA. Hitters are batting a league-low .157 against Carraway.