No. 11 Baseball Plays Host to Liberty Tuesday
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The No. 11 Virginia baseball team plays Liberty at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Davenport Field. The game marks Virginia’s final contest before a nine-day break for final exams.
Virginia has a 34-9-1 record (13-8-1 ACC) after taking two of three games in its series with NC State last weekend. Liberty (29-13) sits atop the Big South standings with a 16-4 conference mark.
Tuesday night is ’80s Night at the park, with ’80s movie, music and TV trivia all night. All Tuesday games are $2 Tuesdays, with $2 hot dogs and sodas available.
UVa picked up its first series win over NC State since 2001 last weekend, winning 6-2 and 6-3 before suffering a 7-6 defeat Sunday. The Cavaliers had their best offensive outing on Sunday, racking up 14 hits, but they left 13 runners on base, including nine in scoring position.
Dan Grovatt (So., Tabernacle, N.J.) went 5-for-11 in the NC State series, while Jarrett Parker (So., Stafford, Va.) was 5-for-14 with three RBI. UVa ran at will all weekend, stealing 10 bases in 11 tries, with eight players recording at least one stolen base. In contrast, UVa shut down the ACC’s second-best running game, picking off five baserunners while holding the Wolfpack to an 0-for-3 effort in stolen bases.
Liberty rallied from a 9-3 deficit for a 10-9, 11-inning win over Gardner-Webb on Sunday to win their series in Boiling Springs, N.C. The Flames’ 16 league victories are the most ever by a Liberty baseball team since joining the Big South in 1992.
Liberty is having a great year offensively, hitting .321 as a team with 52 home runs. Curran Redal leads the team with a .400 batting average. Doug Bream is batting .378, while Tyler Bream has a .353 average and a team-best eight homers and 56 RBI. Liberty also has a sparkling .978 fielding percentage as well as a 5.11 team ERA.
Virginia holds a 23-14-1 edge in the all-time series with Liberty. The Cavaliers won, 7-3, against the Flames last season in Charlottesville and have taken six straight meetings dating back to a 2001 11-inning loss.
After the nine-day break, Virginia returns to conference play with a key series against Duke. The teams play at 7 p.m. May 8 (Friday) and 9 (Saturday) and 1 p.m. May 10 (Sunday). The Blue Devils, with a 12-12 league mark, sit close behind the Cavaliers in the ACC Coastal standings.
– Brian O’Connor won his 250th career game Saturday, doing so in just his 346th career game. He is the third-fastest coach in ACC history to reach the milestone. Only Clemson’s Jack Leggett (338 games) and Florida State’s Mike Martin (343) have reached 250 wins faster while members of the ACC.
– Jarrett Parker set UVa’s single-season runs record on Sunday, scoring his 61st run of the season. Mark Reynolds (2004) and David Guy (1988) set the previous record of 60. Parker needed 44 games to set the record, while Guy needed 49 and Reynolds 58.
– Parker hit his 12th home run last Wednesday, a total which ranks eighth on the UVa single-season list. He also has five triples this year, which is tied for sixth in the Virginia single-season annals.
– Virginia is tied with George Mason for the second-most wins in the nation. Only North Carolina (35) has more victories this year. UVa is one of six teams nationally with fewer than 10 losses.
– UVa is ranked 11th again this week in the Collegiate Baseball poll. The Cavaliers also are 14th in the Baseball America poll and 15th in the NCBWA and USA Today/ESPN rankings.
– The Cavaliers lead the ACC in batting (.342) and pitching (3.13 ERA) this week. Dan Grovatt (.394) is fourth in batting, which Parker is tied for sixth (.384). Freshman Danny Hultzen leads the conference in ERA (2.30), while Andrew Carraway is ninth (3.39).
– Virginia is tied for second in the ACC with a .971 fielding percentage, including a .976 mark in ACC games.