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Probable Starting Rotation

– RHP Whit Mayberry (2-0, 2.50 ERA)
– LHP Scott Silverstein (1-1, 1.50 ERA)

Probable Starting Rotation
– RHP Manny Martir (0-0, 0.82 ERA)
Sat. – LHP Joe Mantiply (2-0, 0.46 ERA)
Sun. – RHP Marc Zecchino (2-1, 3.63 ERA)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia baseball team begins its 2012 ACC schedule this weekend when it plays host to Virginia Tech at Davenport Field. The series commences at 5 p.m. Friday, with 1 p.m. games Saturday and Sunday to conclude the weekend slate.

Live audio and video of all three games will be available through Cavaliers Live on The Friday contest will air live on WINA Radio (1070-AM) in Charlottesville. The final two games of the series also will be broadcast by WINA if the UVa men’s basketball team is no longer competing in the ACC tournament.

Friday is an ACC Trading Card Friday, as the first baseball card trading set will be handed out to the first 500 fans in attendance. Friday also is another TGIF Student Friday; the first 50 students in attendance will receive a voucher for a free hot dog and soft drink.

Sunday is Family Day at the park, as fans can purchase four tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas for $36. Sunday also is Scout Day; scout groups may purchase $5 tickets in advance of game day.

This series marks UVa’s first ACC-opening home series since the Cavaliers played Florida State in the first ACC games ever played at the new Davenport Field in 2002. UVa started ACC play on the road each of the last nine seasons and 22 of the last 23 years since the conference went to the three-game series format in 1990.

Virginia (7-4-1) returns home after cranking out 17 hits in a 14-6 victory at James Madison Tuesday afternoon. UVa fell behind 6-3 after a six-run JMU fourth inning, but the offense came alive to score 11 unanswered runs while the pitching staff held the Dukes hitless over the final five frames.

Veterans Chris Taylor (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) and Jared King (Sr., Radford, Va.) have been the Cavaliers’ two hottest hitters of late. King ranks fourth in the ACC with a .457 batting average. He leads the team with eight extra-base hits and 17 RBI.

After a slow start at the plate, Taylor has caught fire of late with hits in eight of his last nine games. Taylor got it going last weekend with six hits in 11 at bats and then went 2-for-6 with a triple and solo home run Tuesday at JMU.

With their offensive outburst Tuesday against the Dukes, the Cavaliers are now batting .312 as a team (fourth in the ACC). UVa also owns a 2.81 team ERA (fifth in the conference).

Virginia Tech is off to its best start since 1993. Winners of six-consecutive games, the Hokies own an 11-2 record following a four-game sweep of Yale last weekend. Chad Pinder leads the squad with a .383 batting average, while Johnny Morales sits at .347. The Hokies are batting .307 as a team and own a 2.35 team earned run average.

After sweeping Virginia Tech last year in a three-game series in Blacksburg, Virginia holds an 89-75 advantage in the all-time series with the Hokies. UVa won all three games decisively last year (18-3, 9-3, 10-2). The Cavaliers have won 16 of the 19 meetings with the Hokies since the current coaching staff started in 2004.

Following the Virginia Tech series, Virginia has a busy week on tap. UVa plays host to Marist in midweek games on Tuesday and Wednesday, then travels to Florida State for a three-game ACC series beginning Saturday night (March 17).

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