Top-Five Showdown: Virginia, Georgia Tech Battle This Weekend
No. 4 VIRGINIA CAVALIERS (25-6, 8-4 ACC)
Probable Starting Rotation
Fri. – LHP Danny Hultzen (4-1, 1.58 ERA)
Sat. – RHP Robert Morey (4-1, 3.43 ERA)
Sun. – RHP Cody Winiarski (3-0, 5.18 ERA)
No. 2 GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS (26-3, 11-1 ACC)
Probable Starting Rotation
Fri. – RHP Deck McGuire (5-1, 1.53 ERA)
Sat. – RHP Brandon Cumpton (5-0, 5.03 ERA)
Sun. – LHP Jed Bradley (4-1, 3.46 ERA)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The fourth-ranked Virginia baseball team faces second-ranked Georgia Tech this weekend in a three-game series at Davenport Field. It marks the first-ever games between top five-ranked teams in stadium history.
The teams will play at 7 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday at Davenport Field, with near-capacity crowds anticipated for each game.
All three games will be broadcast live on VirginiaSports.com, with a V Pass subscription. The Friday and Sunday games also will air live on WINA 1070-AM in Charlottesville. Live statistics also will be available at VirginiaSports.com.
Both teams are strong in all facets of the game. Virginia and Georgia Tech rank first and third, respectively, in the ACC in batting, with Virginia (25-6, 8-4 ACC) holding a .350 batting average and Georgia Tech (26-3, 11-1) boasting a .343 mark. The Yellow Jackets also rank second nationally in home runs (65) and have scored in double figures in nine of their last 13 games.
On the mound, Georgia Tech owns the ACC’s lowest earned run average at 3.15. Virginia ranks fourth in the ACC with a 3.63 mark. Defensively, Virginia ranks fourth nationally with a .982 fielding percentage, while Georgia Tech is 19th at .976.
The pitching matchup on Friday night is one of the weekend highlights, as Virginia ace Danny Hultzen (So., Bethesda, Md.) will take the mound opposite reigning ACC Pitcher of the Year Deck McGuire of Georgia Tech. Hultzen is 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA this year, while McGuire is 5-1 with a 1.53 ERA. Saturday, UVa’s Robert Morey (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) pitches against GT’s Brandon Cumpton, while Sunday Cody Winiarski (Jr., Franksville, Wis.) will start for UVa against the Jackets’ Jed Bradley.
The pitching battle will be key against both teams’ potent offenses. The Cavaliers have nine players who see regular playing time that are batting over .300. UVa’s Phil Gosselin (Jr., West Chester, Pa.) enters the weekend with a career-best 14-game hitting streak and is hitting .408 this season. Stephen Bruno (Fr., Audubon, N.J.) has been a sparkplug in the UVa lineup and has hits in 11 straight games while boasting a .475 batting average.
Georgia Tech’s eight regular starters all are hitting .295 or better, with Matt Skole (.395) leading the pack. Five others are hitting over .350 – Chase Burnett (.387), Cole Leonida (.372), Derek Dietrich (.371), Thomas Nichols (.350) and Tony Plagman (.357).
Last year the teams had a memorable three-game series in Atlanta that finished in a rare split – one win, one loss and one tie for each team. Both teams scored 21 runs in the series. Georgia Tech got a walkoff single from Plagman to win game one, 7-6. In game two, Virginia rallied from five runs down in the ninth inning, capped by a Keith Werman go-ahead single, to win 11-10. In the final game Virginia scored a run in the ninth inning to tie the game and after UVa held Georgia Tech scoreless in the bottom of the ninth, the game was called because of the ACC travel curfew, resulting in a 4-4 tie.
Davenport Field has a seating capacity of 4,219 after the addition of 679 General Admission seats this week. Fans planning to attend games this weekend are strongly encouraged to arrive early and purchase tickets ahead of time online at VirginiaSports.com to avoid lines. The ticket booth and gates to Davenport Field will open two hours prior to first pitch each day.
Tickets may be ordered online at VirginiaSports.com, in person at the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium or by phone at (800) 542-UVA1. General Admission seating is available in the left-field bleachers, the first baseline bleachers and on the grass hillside.
General Admission tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youth (18 and under), seniors (60 and older) and faculty/staff (limit two per faculty/staff). Advance ticket sales online and by phone end four hours prior to the game. Reserved tickets, if turned in by season ticket holders for resale, are available for purchase on game day and are $9 for adults and $5 for UVa faculty/staff (limit two per faculty/staff).
Parking will be available in the University Hall, Cage and John Paul Jones Arena (parking garage) as well as the Emmet-Ivy Garage.