No. 1 Virginia Baseball Travels to No. 26 VMI Wednesday
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia baseball team, ranked No. 1 nationally in the latest NCBWA poll, travels to VMI at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Gray-Minor Stadium in Lexington, Va. The Keydets are ranked No. 26 in the Collegiate Baseball poll this week.
Virginia (27-7) will be playing its first road midweek game against a ranked opponent since March 3, 2003 at then-No. 12 Richmond. This also will be the first time two nationally ranked baseball teams have met on Post at VMI.
In addition to its top ranking from the NCBWA, UVa is ranked No. 2 this week by Baseball America and Rivals.com. The Cavaliers stand No. 3 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll and No. 4 in the Collegiate Baseball rankings.
Links to VMI’s live audio and video coverage of the game will be available through VirginiaSports.com. Fans attending the game are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance from the VMI Ticket Office, either by calling 540-464-7266 or by clicking here. Fans are also strongly encouraged to park either behind the Marshall Museum or in the “nose-in” spots in front of the residences on Parade Avenue. Overflow parking will then be located on the VMI Parade Ground.
The Cavaliers are coming off their fourth ACC series win of the season, including their third over a Top-10 foe, with a 2-1 series win over then-No. 2 Georgia Tech. VMI (28-5) is tied for the national lead in wins with Arizona State after sweeping a three-game series with Gardner-Webb last weekend. The Keydets have been especially impressive at home, going 17-2 at Gray-Minor Stadium.
Virginia’s offense ranks among the NCAA’s top 20 in eight categories. UVa is No. 1 in sacrifice flies (30) and No. 2 in triples (21). The Cavaliers also rank sixth in the country in fielding percentage with a .979 mark.
Freshman Stephen Bruno (Audubon, N.J.) has been one of the Cavaliers’ top hitters of late, and he currently owns a 14-game hitting streak. Over the last 10 games, Bruno is hitting .405 (17-for-42) and has 11 RBI – second to Jarrett Parker (Jr., Stafford, Va.), who has 12 RBI during that stretch.
Virginia ranks 16th nationally with a team ERA of 3.66. The Cavaliers also rank sixth nationally in fewest hits allowed per nine innings (7.8). Kevin Arico (Jr., Flemington, N.J.) leads all NCAA Division I pitchers with 11 saves – that ranks third in a single season at Virginia and ties his save total from the 2009 campaign.
The Keydets have a potent offense which has racked up a .354 batting average this year. Three VMI players are hitting over .400 – Alex Haitsuka (.443), Graham Sullivan (.411) and Cory Spangenberg (.404). Jordan Ballard is batting .356 with 14 home runs – the Keydets rank fourth nationally in home runs with 59. Overall, VMI ranks among the top 10 nationally in nine offensive categories. VMI also owns a 3.93 team ERA.
Virginia has a 99-26 edge in the all-time series with VMI. The teams met last season in Charlottesville, with Virginia claiming a 10-3 win. In the teams’ last meeting in Lexington in 2007, the Keydets pulled a 5-2 upset over the then-No. 3 Cavaliers.
UVa returns to Davenport Field this weekend for a three-game ACC series with Virginia Tech, which is ranked No. 20 in the latest Baseball America poll. Large crowds are expected for all three games, and fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance. 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.