No. 1 Virginia Baseball Visits Virginia Tech This Weekend
VIRGINIA CAVALIERS (25-2, 8-1 ACC)
Probable Starting Rotation
Fri. – LHP Danny Hultzen (5-0, 1.12 ERA)
Sat. – RHP Tyler Wilson (3-0, 2.27 ERA)
Sun. – RHP Cody Winiarski (3-1, 3.51 ERA)
VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES (14-13, 1-8 ACC)
Probable Starting Rotation
Fri. – LHP Joe Mantiply (2-4, 5.02 ERA)
Sat. – RHP Marc Zecchino (2-3 (3.82 ERA)
Sun. – RHP Joe Parsons (4-1, 2.43 ERA)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Winners of six straight games, the top-ranked Virginia baseball team travels to Virginia Tech this weekend for a three-game series at English Field in Blacksburg. The teams start the series at 5:30 p.m. Friday, continue with game two at 2 p.m. Saturday and conclude the three-game set at 1 p.m. Sunday.
WINA 1070-AM in Charlottesville and WRNL 910-AM in Richmond each will have the radio broadcast for the Friday and Sunday games, with Mike Bisceglia and Jay Jenkins providing the call. VirginiaSports.com will have the audio broadcast for all three contests. Live statistics for all three games will be available at VirginiaSports.com.
Virginia (25-2, 8-1 ACC) enters April with its fewest losses since 1972 (that squad was 4-2 entering April). The Cavaliers will be playing their fourth ACC series – UVa already has swept Clemson and Maryland, while taking two of three games from Florida State.
The Cavaliers are coming off a historic performance Tuesday, as Will Roberts (Jr., Richmond, Va.) notched the first perfect game in Virginia baseball history in a 2-0 win over George Washington. Roberts is the second ACC pitcher to record a perfect game and just the eighth in Division I history to post a nine-inning perfect game. He needed only 98 pitches to finish off the perfect game.
Roberts’ outing marked Virginia’s eighth shutout this season. The school record for shutouts in a season is 11, set in 2005. The 2005 team shares the ACC record with the 1977 Clemson squad. UVa also lowered its team ERA to an ACC-low 1.92 with Roberts’ perfect-game outing. The Cavaliers entered the week with a 2.00 ERA, which ranked fifth in nationally.
Virginia boasts a strong tandem of pitching and defense this year. UVa has allowed just 2.3 runs per game, tied with California for the second fewest in Division I. Texas A&M (2.0) is the only team to allow fewer.
Virginia owns a .986 fielding percentage this season, which is tied for the best mark nationally with San Francisco. UVa has committed just 14 errors in 27 games. The Cavaliers set a school record in 2010 with a .977 fielding percentage.
Virginia is the lone team in Division I to rank among the top 20 nationally in ERA, strikeouts per nine innings and fewest hits and walks allowed per nine innings. UVa stands in the top 10 nationally in all of those categories as of the Monday NCAA statistics report: ERA (5th, 2.00), strikeouts (2nd, 10.9/game), fewest hits/9 innings (2nd, 6.51) and fewest walks/9 inns (6th, 2.18). UVa has allowed more than four earned runs just once this year.
The Cavaliers rank fourth in the ACC with a .295 batting average. John Hicks (Jr., Sandy Hook, Va.) continues to pace the team in hitting with a .378 average. He ranks eighth in the conference in batting. Hitting .324 overall this season, Steven Proscia (Jr., Suffern, N.Y.) holds a .447 batting average in ACC play, second in the conference to Georgia Tech’s Kyle Wren (.475).
Virginia Tech (14-13, 1-8) dropped two of three games last weekend at Boston College before returning home and falling 7-5 against Radford on Tuesday. The Hokies lead the ACC with 29 home runs and have two of the league’s top power threats – Andrew Rash leads the league with eight home runs, while Tim Smalling is tied for second in the conference with five long balls. Rash leads the Hokies with a .337 batting average. Virginia Tech is batting .277 as a team (ninth in the ACC) and owns a 3.77 team ERA (seventh in the conference).
Virginia holds an 85-77 advantage in the all-time series with Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers won two of three games last year in the series with the Hokies in Charlottesville. Virginia Tech took two of three from Virginia in 2009 in UVa’s last trip to Blacksburg, breaking a UVa win streak of 12 straight in the series, dating to April 16, 2003. Virginia has won 13 of the 16 meetings with VT since the current coaching staff started in 2004.
Virginia returns home at 6 p.m. Tuesday to take on Radford in Throwback Night, as the Cavaliers will wear throwback uniforms. The Cavaliers travel to No. 6 Georgia Tech next weekend (April 8-10) for a three-game series.