No. 2 Virginia Opens 2015 Season Friday at East Carolina
Feb. 12, 2015
|No. 2 Virginia at East Carolina|
|Date/Time||Fri., Feb. 13, 3 p.m. | Sat., Feb. 14, Noon (DH)|
|Location||Greenville, N.C. | Clark-LeClair Stadium (5,000)|
|Radio||WINA 1070-AM, WINA.com (Friday only)|
|Video/Audio ($)||Friday: Video | Audio
Saturday (Game 1): Video | Audio
Saturday (Game 2): Video | Audio
|GameTracker||Friday | ||
|Social Media||Twitter: @UVaBaseball | O’Connor Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Game Notes|
EAST CAROLINA PIRATES (0-0)
Probable Starting Rotation (2014 stats)
Fri. – So. LHP Evan Kruzynski (0-0, 18.00 ERA)
Sat. – So. LHP Jacob Wolfe (0-0, 2.35 ERA)
Sat. – TBA
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia baseball team starts its 2015 regular season this weekend with a three-game series at East Carolina. The season opener is slated for 3 p.m. Friday at Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville, N.C. Because of impending inclement weather on Sunday, the teams now will wrap up the series with a doubleheader beginning at noon Saturday.
A live video broadcast will be available for all three games on VirginiaSports.com through a Cavaliers Live subscription. New for the 2014-15 academic year, subscribers to the subscription package also have access to watch live events throughout the CBS Interactive website (including the ECU broadcasts).
WINA 1070-AM and WINA.com will carry the live radio broadcast on Friday, while the Virginia audio for all three games will be available on VirginiaSports.com.
Live statistics (GameTracker) also will be located on VirginiaSports.com. The video, audio and live stats also can be accessed through the Virginia Sports app, which is available through iTunes.
Fans may text UVABASE to 79516 to subscribe to alerts about Virginia baseball schedule changes and game updates because of inclement weather. Standard text message rates for your individual mobile plan apply. To cancel enrollment, text STOP to 79516.
Virginia in the Latest National Rankings
USA Today Coaches, NCBWA, Perfect Game – 2
Collegiate Baseball, D1Baseball – 3
Baseball America – 4
Virginia Begins 2015 Season
Virginia is 27-7-1 in opening weekends during the Brian O’Connor‘s 11 years as head coach. The Cavaliers went 2-1 in their opening weekend last year in the Hughes Brothers Challenge in Wilmington, N.C., with wins over VMI and host UNC Wilmington following a defeat to Kentucky. This is the third time since 2010 that UVa and ECU have opened a season with a series in Greenville (2010, 2013, 2015).
Virginia-East Carolina Series
Virginia holds a 28-18 lead in the all-time series with East Carolina and has won 10 of the programs’ 12 meetings since 2010. UVa has won its last six games against ECU, dating to a 4-3 loss on Feb. 27, 2011, in Charlottesville.
The Cavaliers swept ECU in Charlottesville last season, winning by 3-2, 4-0, and 6-2 counts. UVa won both games in 2013 in the season-opening series in Greenville (14-4, 13-9); the final game was cancelled because of snow and ice.
McMullan Ties to ECU
Virginia associate head coach Kevin McMullan was an assistant coach at East Carolina from 2000-02. He coached new ECU head coach Cliff Godwin in 2000 and 2001. In 2001-02, he served as acting head coach for Keith LeClair, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease. ECU went 43-20 in 2002 and won the Conference USA Championship. The Pirates won three C-USA titles and an NCAA Regional championship during his tenure.
Freshmen to Play Big Role on Offense
Virginia will rely heavily on its freshman class this year, particularly with its position players. UVa figures to have at least four first-year players in the starting lineup this weekend. If that holds up, it would match the most freshman in a UVa opening-day lineup since 2008 when four first-years started vs. Lehigh (Phil Gosselin at DH, John Barr in LF, Jarrett Parker in CF, David Coleman in RF).
Kirby Earns First Opening Day Start
Virginia LHP Nathan Kirby is scheduled to make his first opening day start Friday. He started the Saturday game against VMI during the opening weekend last season. UVa’s probable Game 3 starter this weekend, Brandon Waddell, has started the Cavaliers’ last two opening days, including in 2013 at East Carolina.
Three Cavaliers were named preseason All-Americans: LHP Nathan Kirby, OF Joe McCarthy and LHP Brandon Waddell. Kirby was a unanimous first-team All-America selection, while McCarthy and Waddell each were named to various teams.
Sborz Takes Over Closer Role
After serving as UVa’s Saturday starter last year, RHP Josh Sborz moves into the closer role this year. Sborz was 6-4 with a 2.92 ERA in 17 games (15 starts) during the 2014 season.
He takes over for All-American Nick Howard, who saved an ACC-record 20 games last year and then was taken by the Cincinnati Reds with the 19th pick in the first round of the MLB Draft.
UVa closers own 148 saves in the 11 seasons under the current coaching staff (13.5 saves per season). Six of the seven closers since 2004 have been selected in the MLB Draft, including five in the top 10 rounds.
Noting East Carolina
The Pirates are under new leadership this season as ECU alum Cliff Godwin takes over as head coach after three years as an assistant coach at Ole Miss. He inherits an ECU club that went 33-26 (16-14 Conference USA) and missed the NCAA tournament last season.
In its first season as a member of the American Athletic Conference, ECU returns 15 letterwinners, including five position starters and seven pitchers, from its 2014 squad. Shortstop Hunter Allen is the team’s leading returning hitter after batting .308 last year. Luke Lowery and Charlie Yorgen each batted .288 in 2014 for the Pirates, who hit
Virginia begins its 34-game home schedule on Tuesday (Feb. 17) with a 3 p.m. matchup with VCU at Davenport Field. That marks the start of a 14-game homestand that takes the Cavaliers into conference play in early March.