Cavaliers, Seminoles Tangle in Top-Five Showdown This Weekend
Virginia Cavaliers (10-2)
Probable Starting Rotation
Fri. – LHP Danny Hultzen (2-1, 1.35 ERA)
Sat. – RHP Robert Morey (2-1, 3.63 ERA)
Sun. – RHP Cody Winiarski (1-0, 6.43 ERA)
Florida State Seminoles (12-0)
Probable Starting Rotation
Fri. – LHP Sean Gilmartin (3-0, 0.90 ERA)
Sat. – LHP John Gast (3-0, 1.50 ERA)
Sun. – RHP Geoff Parker (1-0, 6.08 ERA)
CHARLOTTESVILLE Va. – The Virginia baseball team opens ACC play this weekend with a three-game series against Atlantic Division favorite Florida State at Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla. The teams start the series at 6 p.m. Friday, with 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday games set to follow.
Both teams are ranked nationally among the top five, and the series is a one-two showdown of sorts. Virginia is ranked as high as No. 1 in the Baseball America and Rivals.com polls, while Florida State stands as high as No. 2 nationally in the Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA and USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls.
The Friday game of the series will be webcast by Seminoles All-Access at Seminoles.com. The Sunday contest will be aired live on television by Sun Sports, while the broadcast also will be picked up by Fox College Sports. A live audio broadcast also will be available for all three games at Seminoles.com.
Virginia owns a 10-2 record following a 12-6 win at William and Mary on Wednesday. Florida State is unbeaten at 12-0 following wins over Jacksonville and North Florida this week.
The series is a rematch of the ACC Championship game from last season, where Virginia scored three runs in the ninth inning to break a three-all tie en route to a 6-3 victory and the ACC title.
Overall, Florida State owns a 42-14 all-time series advantage against Virginia, although the Cavaliers won both meetings last season. UVa also won 15-2 against the Seminoles in Charlottesville – the rest of the 2009 series at Virginia was rained out. UVa has lost four straight in Tallahassee and has not won at Dick Howser Stadium since May 1, 2005; UVa was swept in its last series at FSU in 2008.
Both teams feature well-rounded squads with strong hitting as well as tough pitching staffs. UVa ranks second in the ACC with a .378 team batting average, while FSU ranks fourth at .353. The Seminoles own a sparkling 2.29 team earned run average, while UVa sports a 3.79 mark.
The Cavaliers’ offense has been especially potent of late, with UVa scoring at least 10 runs in each of the last four games. Wednesday, the Cavaliers exploded for 11 runs over its final four at bats in rolling to a 12-6 win at William and Mary. Steven Proscia (So., Suffern, N.Y.) and Jarrett Parker (Jr., Stafford, Va.) each homered and drove in four runs for the Cavaliers. Keith Werman (So., Vienna, Va.) leads UVa with a .636 batting average, while Proscia (.426), Phil Gosselin (.404) and John Barr (.400) all are at .400 or better.
FSU has three hitters batting over .400 – Justin Gonzalez (.429), Stuart Tapley (.425) and Stephen Cardullo (.425). On the mound, Sean Gilmartin and John Gast have formed a tough one-two punch as the Friday and Saturday starters. Both have 3-0 records, and Gilmartin boasts a 0.90 ERA, while Gast sports a 1.50 ERA.
UVa returns to Charlottesville next week for a Tuesday rematch with William and Mary before traveling to James Madison Wednesday.