CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 12 Virginia (3-1, 0-0 ACC) opens up ACC play on Thursday (Feb. 25) with the first of a three-game series against North Carolina (4-0, 0-0 ACC). First pitch in the series opener is slated for 4 p.m. on ACCNX.
Game Coverage: The entire series will be carried live on ACCNX, available to authenticated subscribers of ACC Network via the ESPN App. In addition, the games on Thursday and Friday can be heard locally in Charlottesville on WINA 98.9 FM/1070 AM and anywhere on WINA.com Links for broadcasts and in-game live stats are available on VirginiaSports.com. Fans can also follow the Virginia baseball official twitter account (@UVABaseball) for in-game updates.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Thursday – 4 p.m.
Virginia: LHP Andrew Abbott (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5.2 IP, 1 BB, 9 SO)
UNC: RHP Austin Love (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 6.0 IP, 2 BB, 9 SO)
Friday – 3:30 p.m.
Virginia: RHP Griff McGarry (0-0, 4.50 ERA, 4.0 IP, 3 BB, 9 SO)
UNC: RHP Max Carlson (1-0, 2.70 ERA, 6.2 IP, 1 BB, 8 SO)
Saturday – 2 p.m.
Virginia: RHP Mike Vasil (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 6.0 IP, 0 BB, 6 SO)
UNC: RHP Max Alba (1-0, 3.60 ERA, 5.0 IP, 1 BB, 6 SO)
- Virginia begins ACC play in the month of February for the first time in program history. The Cavaliers are scheduled to play 12 ACC weekend series (36 games) this season starting Thursday through May 22.
- Thursday will be the first road contest for Virginia as six of the next seven games will be played away from Disharoon Park.
- Under head Coach Brian O’Connor, the Cavaliers are 290-180-1 in ACC play. His 290 wins are the 8th most in league history and third most among active ACC coaches. His winning percentage (.617) in ACC play is the sixth-highest in league history and second-highest among active ACC coaches (min. 4 seasons).
- 2021 will mark the second-straight season Virginia opens ACC play with an undefeated opponent. Last season NC State was 12-0 before the Cavaliers took two out of three in Charlottesville. North Carolina enters Thursday with a 4-0 mark after sweeping JMU over the weekend and defeating Elon, 4-1 on Tuesday.
- North Carolina is the only opponent that Virginia has played 300 games against. The all-time series dates back to 1891 with the Tar Heels holding a 186-112-4 advantage.
- North Carolina has won three-straight games against Virginia, including a 3-2, 10-inning victory in the 2019 ACC Tournament.
- Virginia hasn’t taken a series in Chapel Hill since sweeping the Tar Heels in 2015.
- Head coach Brian O’Connor owns a 26-28 mark against North Carolina since taking over in 2004.
ON THE HILL
- In his first start since April 23, 2019, Andrew Abbott had a career day on the mound in the Cavaliers’ season opener against UConn. The lefty established new career highs with nine strikeouts and 5.2 innings pitched. He became the first Cavalier pitcher since Danny Hultzen in 2011 to strikeout more than nine batters on opening day.
- Abbott has played a prominent role in the team’s bullpen the past three years and currently leads the staff in career wins (9), strikeouts (174), appearances (58) and innings pitched (114.)
- Griff McGarry followed up Abbott with a nine-strikeout performance of his own on Saturday. The righthander fanned five batters in the first two innings and allowed two earned runs in a no-decision.
- Mike Vasil delivered his fourth-straight quality start dating back to last season in Sunday’s series clincher against UConn. He logged six innings and struck out six batters to secure his first win of 2021. Vasil was one of three ACC pitchers to log a six-inning start this past weekend.
- In the latest Baseball America poll, Virginia is the No. 2 team in the country.
- D1Baseball and the NCBWA had the Cavaliers at No. 12 while the Cavaliers moved up two spots to No. 7 in the Perfect Game Top 25.
- Collegiate Baseball Newspaper also unveiled its first poll of 2021 and the Cavaliers went unchanged at No. 14
- The Cavaliers closed out its four-game home stand on Tuesday with a 14-5 victory over VMI.
- The 14 runs, 14 hits, eight extra-base hits and two home runs were all season-highs.
- The Cavaliers fell behind 3-0 briefly in the second inning but went on to score the game’s next 14 runs.
- The big blow came off the bat of Chris Newell who hit a grand slam in the sixth inning, the first home run of the season for UVA. The first long ball of the 2020 season was also a grand slam (Devin Ortiz vs. Bucknell on 2/21/20). It was one of three grand slams for the Cavaliers in 2020 and one of two off the bat of Ortiz in 18 games.
- Eight Cavalier pitchers combined to strikeout 18 batters in the contest, the most since fanning 19 against Yale in 2018.
- As a staff, Virginia comes into the series with the most strikeouts (59) in the ACC.
- Zack Gelof hit his first home run of the season on Tuesday against VMI and it also was his 100th career hit. He currently leads the team in avg. (.467), runs (5), hits (7), doubles (3) and RBI (5)
- Nic Kent has a hit in all four games this season including three-straight, two-hit performances. On the base paths is 3-for-3 on stolen base attempts and has been successful in his nine-straight stolen base attempts dating back to last season.
- Kent co-leads the ACC in stolen bases this season and he, along with Zack Gelof, has the second most hits (7) among ACC batters.
- Five players – Kent, Logan Michaels, Alex Tappen, Zack Gelof and Marc Lebreux – reached base in all four games this season.
- Devin Ortiz was moved up to the fifth spot in the lineup on Sunday against UConn and delivered with his ninth career multi-hit effort.
- Dating back to last season, Marc Lebreux has reached successfully in 19-straight games thanks to hits in each of the first four games this season.
- Out of the bullpen, Stephen Schoch saved both Cavalier wins against UConn. The sidearmer has seven saves in a Virginia uniform and 20 in his collegiate career.
- Right-handed reliever Blake Bales leads the staff with three appearances and has not allowed a run in 2.1 innings pitched. His six strikeouts are the most among UVA relievers.