Virginia Entertains Marshall at 3 p.m. Tuesday
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia baseball team wraps up an 11-game homestand with a 3 p.m. contest on Tuesday against Marshall. Virginia Sports Online Radio will have the live audio broadcast on VirginiaSports.com, while live statistics will also be available there.
Virginia (12-1) sports a six-game winning streak as it enters the Marshall contest. The Cavaliers own the second-most victories in Division I through the first three weeks of the season – Oklahoma (14) is the lone team to have more. UVa is ranked as high as sixth nationally this week (ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll).
A pair of right-handers are scheduled to take the mound Tuesday – Virginia’s Will Roberts (Jr., Richmond, Va.) and Marshall’s Arik Sikula, who was a 2010 First Team All-Conference USA selection. Roberts also started the 2010 contest against the Thundering Herd and worked four innings while allowing a run, three hits and a walk. Sikula worked a third of an inning in the teams’ 2009 meeting and gave up a run.
Virginia comes off its busiest week of the season, where it went 6-0 with midweek wins over William and Mary and Niagara as well as two weekend wins each over Rider and Cornell. The Cavaliers’ pitching staff continued its excellence, tossing three shutouts and posting a miniscule 0.67 team ERA while lowering the team’s season ERA to an ACC-low 1.62. Batters hit just .152 against Cavalier hurlers over the course of the week. For its efforts, the Virginia staff was named InsidePitching.com’s National Pitching Staff of the Week.
The Cavaliers’ bats did the job last week as well as UVa hit .335 in the six-game stretch. Danny Hultzen (Jr., Bethesda, Md.) was 4-for-8 with a .667 on base percentage for the week, while Reed Gragnani (So., Richmond, Va.) went 7-for-16 (.438) with six RBI. Kenny Swab (Sr., Kernersville, N.C.) had a team-high nine hits for the week. Hultzen and David Coleman (Sr., Richmond, Va.) currently are tied for the team lead in batting average at .371.
UVa also has been playing solid team defense and has committed three errors in 13 games, good for a .994 fielding percentage which easily tops the conference.
Virginia and Marshall have played each of the last two seasons, with the Cavaliers winning close games in both instances. Last year Virginia picked up a 6-3 victory; in 2009 UVa needed a seventh-inning rally to win 5-4. UVa owns a 10-0 edge in the all-time series.
Led by fifth-year head coach Jeff Waggoner, Marshall is off to a 5-5 start this season, with all 10 games coming on the road. Last weekend the Thundering Herd split four games at the Caravelle Resort Invitational in Myrtle Beach. Victor Ramos leads the squad with a .364 batting average, while Victor Gomez, a third-team preseason NCBWA All-American, is batting .341. The Herd boasts a .249 team batting average and a 4.14 team ERA.
Virginia opens ACC play this weekend by traveling to No. 4 Clemson – the Cavaliers’ first visit to Doug Kingsmore Stadium since the 2007 season. The teams are slated to play at 4 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.