CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia (27-22) will open ACC Tournament pool play on Tuesday (May 25) with commonwealth foe Virginia Tech (27-23) at Truist Field in Charlotte, N.C. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. and the contest will be carried live Regional Sports Networks as well as WINA (1070 AM/98.9 FM).
Game Coverage: A list of networks scheduled to carry Virginia’s ACC Tournament games can be found here: https://theacc.com/sports/2017/9/8/acc-on-rsn.aspx. The game is also available on ACCNX but is subject to blackout. In addition, Tuesday’s game can be heard locally on WINA (98.9 FM/1070 AM) and anywhere on WINA.com. Links for the 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
Tuesday – 3 p.m.
Virginia Tech: LHP Peyton Alford (2-5, 4.98 ERA, 65.0 IP, 38 BB, 91 SO)
Virginia: RHP Zach Messsinger (2-1, 4.53 ERA, 43.2 IP, 19 BB, 51 SO)
- Virginia and Virginia Tech will square off in the ACC Tournament for only the second time. The Hokies won the only meeting back in 2013.
- Virginia closed the regular season having won 10 of its final 14 games and six of the last seven ACC series.
- The Cavaliers began ACC play this season by dropping 11 of its first 15 league games. Virginia won 14 of its last 21 ACC games to finish with a conference record of 18-18.
- The 18 ACC wins are the most by Virginia since 2017.
- The eighth seed has won the ACC Tournament twice (Florida State in 2017 and Georgia Tech in 2012).
AGAINST VIRGINIA TECH
- The Cavaliers and Hokies will meet for the fourth time this year after Virginia took two out of three games in Blacksburg April 30 – May 2.
- Virginia owns a 105-88 advantage in the all-time series that first began in 1900.
- The Cavaliers have won five-straight ACC series and have won five of the last seven games against the Hokies.
- In the series opener, Virginia set season-highs in runs (18), hits (17), RBI (17) and total bases (27). The 18 runs in ACC action were the most since 2011.
- The 17-run margin of victory in game one was the largest in the 122-year history of the series.
- The Cavaliers trailed 1-0 in the opener and the finale but erased both deficits with leadoff home runs in their next turn at the plate. Nic Kent tied the game up in the opener while Devin Ortiz quickly erased the Hokie lead in the second inning of the finale.
- Virginia pitchers did not give up a single home run in the series to a Hokie team that entered the weekend with 46 homers, the fourth most in the ACC.
ACC TOURNAMENT NOTES
- Virginia earned the eighth seed, its highest seed since 2017 ACC Tournament when it was the fourth seed.
- The Cavaliers have won the ACC Tournament three times, 1996, 2009 and most recently 2011.
- Virginia has been part of every ACC Tournament since its inception in 1973 and will make its 47th overall appearance. Only Virginia and Clemson have participated in every ACC Tournament.
• The Cavaliers own a 52-77 overall record in the ACC postseason.
- Under head coach Brian O’Connor, the Cavaliers have a record of 27-23 overall mark in the ACC Tournament.
ON THE MOUND
- Virginia’s team ERA of 3.77 is the second lowest only to Florida State in the Atlantic Coast Conference and ranks 23rd in the NCAA.
- As a staff, Virginia ranks 12th in the NCAA in strikeouts per nine innings (10.7) and 18th in total strikeouts (518).
- The Cavaliers have struck out 10 or batters 32 times this season. Virginia is 20-12 when fanning 10 or more batters in game.
- Junior Zach Messinger will make his fourth start of and will pitch in his career-high 22nd game this season. In 10 career starts, the Cavaliers are 8-2 with Messinger on the mound. Messinger has pitched in two of the team’s ACC-best, four shutouts this season.
- Back on April 20th at VCU, Messinger out 10 batters over 4.1 innings of relief, becoming the only UVA pitcher since 2000 to reach double-digit strikeouts out of the bullpen.
- The Cavalier bullpen boasts three pitchers with 18 or more appearances and ERAs under 3.00 – Blake Bales (0.49), Stephen Schoch (2.76) and Brandon Neeck (2.87).
- Bales began the season not allowing a run in the first 29.1 innings pitched and has only allowed six of his 23 inherited runners to score. The righthander also is tops on the staff with five holds.
- Schoch enters Tuesday with seven saves, tied for the second most in the ACC. The sidearmer has 25 career saves to his credit between his time at UMBC and UVA, the fourth most among active pitchers in the NCAA. His 12 career saves in two seasons at Virginia are tied for the 10th most in program history.
- Virginia has a total of five pitchers that have seen action in previous ACC Tournaments – Griff McGarry, Kyle Whitten, Mike Vasil, Andrew Abbott and Devin Ortiz.
- Head coach Brian O’Connor recorded his 300th ACC victory on April 23 with a 9-4 win over Duke. He became the eighth coach in league history to reach the 300-win plateau.
- Andrew Abbott, Jake Berry and Griff McGarry combined for the program’s seventh no-hitter on May 14th against Wake Forest. It was the first no-hitter in ACC play since UVA’s Nathan Kirby threw a no-no at Pitt in 2014.
- The Cavaliers have recorded 11 come-from-behind victories this season, nine occurring in the final 22 games.
- Prior to this season, Virginia had not produced a walk-off win since 2018. So far, UVA has produced four walk-offs in 2021, all of them occurring in the last 19 games.
- After throwing a no-hitter in the opener against Wake Forest, Virginia recorded back-to-back walk-off victories to sweep the series. In his final home game of his career, senior Christian Hlinka doubled home the game-winning run in the ninth.
- With the series win against Boston College, Virginia improved to 47-23 in the final two ACC series of the year since 2009.
- As a team, the Cavaliers lead the ACC with 26 sacrifice bunts and are tied for fourth in the conference with 53 stolen bases.
- Max Cotier added his named to the UVA record books again by doubling three times in Saturday’s finale at Boston College. He is the 31st player in UVA history to record three doubles in a game and the first since Zack Gelof collected three on opening night against Vanderbilt in 2019. Cotier is one of 11 Cavaliers to score five runs in a game. He crossed the plate five times against UMass Lowell on March 10, 2020.
- Nic Kent went 6-for-13 (.462) with two doubles, two home runs and nine RBI in the three games at Boston College. Five of his career-high six home runs this season have come in the last 24 games.
- Third team All-ACC selection, Kyle Teel has reached in 12-straight games and drew a season-high three walks in the middle game at Boston College.
- Since moving to the leadoff spot in the order on April 1, Second Team All-ACC honoree Zack Gelof is batting .342 (39-for-114) with nine doubles, four home runs and 19 RBI. In that span, Virginia has an overall record of 16-9. Gelof comes into the ACC Tournament on a seven-game hit streak.
- Senior Alex Tappen, the team’s active leader in games played (148), also has hit safely in seven-straight games despite only starting one of them. He’s come on as a pinch-hitter in eight of the last 10 games. As pinch-hitter he is 4-for-13 (.308) with three doubles and a home run.
- Freshman Jake Gelof has started 10-straight games at first base and has a hit in seven of them. Against Wake Forest the first year 5-for-11 (.455) with two doubles, a triple, four runs, four walks and five RBI. He clinched the series with a walk-off single in the ninth of game two.