No. 25 Virginia Baseball Heads to No. 15 Miami for Three-Game Series
VIRGINIA CAVALIERS (28-14-1, 11-10 ACC)
Probable Starting Rotation
Sat. – RHP Branden Kline (5-3, 3.38 ERA)
Sun. – LHP Scott Silverstein (2-4, 3.22 ERA)
Mon. – RHP Artie Lewicki (2-2, 4.50 ERA)
MIAMI HURRICANES (27-14, 12-9 ACC)
Probable Starting Rotation
Sat. – LHP Eric Erickson (6-4, 3.53 ERA)
Sun. – RHP Eric Whaley (3-3, 2.54 ERA)
Mon. – LHP Steven Ewing (4-0, 2.71 ERA)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 25 Virginia baseball team returns to ACC play this weekend as it travels to No. 15 Miami for a three-game series at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field in Coral Gables, Fla. One game separates the teams in the ACC Coastal Division standings, as Virginia (28-14-1, 11-10 ACC) narrowly trails the Hurricanes (27-14, 12-9) after making up two games in the standings last week.
All three games in the series will be televised, with the Monday tilt airing as part of ESPNU’s ACC Mondays package. All three games also will be available online via WatchESPN.com. The full series schedule and television coverage:
Saturday, 1 p.m.: ACC’s Regional Sports Networks (CSN Mid-Atlantic in Virginia)
Sunday, 7 p.m.: CSS (CSN Mid-Atlantic in Virginia)
Monday, 7 p.m.: ESPNU
WINA 1070-AM will have the local radio coverage for all three games. Select stations along the Virginia Sports Radio Network will air the Saturday contest as well (check local listings). Live GameTracker links as well as the audio for all three games will be available at VirginiaSports.com.
Virginia has won four-consecutive games entering the series at Miami. The Cavaliers won the final two games of their conference series last weekend at Duke, then picked up midweek wins over Radford (3-2 in 11 innings) and at VCU (7-5).
Both midweek games required late-game heroics. On Tuesday Nate Irving (Fr., Yonkers, N.Y.) hit a walk-off single in the 11th inning to score Mitchell Shifflett (So., Midlothian, Va.). On Wednesday the Cavaliers rallied for three runs in the ninth inning, capped by a Derek Fisher (Fr., Rexmont, Pa.) tie-breaking two-run homer.
The win over VCU was the 400th in the coaching career of Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor. He needed just nine seasons to reach the 400-win plateau and now holds a career record of 400-144-2. He reached 400 wins in the second-fewest number of games in ACC history (546 games); Florida State’s Mike Martin reached 400 wins in 542 games from 1992-99 after the Seminoles became members of the ACC.
After having his 13-game hit streak snapped on Tuesday, Stephen Bruno (Jr., Audubon, N.J.) started a new streak Wednesday with three hits to lift his batting average to .373 (fourth in ACC). Bruno is batting .468 (29-for-62) with 10 extra-base hits, 19 runs scored and 17 RBI during the 15-game stretch.
Virginia is batting .304 as a team (first in the ACC). The Cavaliers rank fourth in the conference with a 3.30 team ERA and second in fielding percentage with a .973 mark.
Catcher Peter O’Brien leads the Hurricanes with a .354 batting average as well as team highs in home runs (10), RBI (38), doubles (11) and runs (31). Brad Fieger is batting .297, while Dale Carey is hitting .289 as Miami has a .274 batting average as a team (ninth in ACC). The Hurricanes’ pitching staff has been stellar all year and boasts a 3.07 ERA, including a conference-low 2.69 mark in ACC games. Miami owns a .960 fielding percentage, which 10th in the league.
Miami holds a 19-15 lead in the all-time series with Virginia, but Virginia has claimed six of the last seven meetings. UVa won three of its four games with Miami last season, taking two of three in Charlottesville before earning a 6-4 win over UM in the ACC tournament. UVa also won two of three in its last trip to Miami (May 20-22, 2010) and is 6-10 all-time in Coral Gables.
Virginia has a quick turnaround following the Monday night game. UVa plays at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Davenport Field against Mount St. Mary’s.