CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia (28-22) will play top-seeded and seventh-ranked Notre Dame (29-10) on Friday (May 28) at 11 a.m. at Truist Field in Charlotte, N.C. The winner will advance to the ACC Tournament semifinals on Saturday (May 29). The contest will be carried live on Regional Sports Networks as well as ACCNX.
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, Friday’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
Friday – 11 a.m.
Virginia: LHP Andrew Abbott (7-5, 2.83 ERA, 82.2 IP, 27 BB, 127 SO)
Notre Dame: LHP John Michael Bertrand (7-1, 2.77 ERA, 74.2 IP, 19 BB, 57 SO)
- Virginia and Notre Dame will square off in the ACC Tournament for the second time, the Irish claimed an 8-2 victory in Durham back in 2015.
- Coming into Friday, Virginia has won six of its last seven games and nine of its last 12.
- The Cavaliers are looking to advance to the semifinals for the first time since under the tournament’s current format. Virginia has not been to the title game since winning it all in 2011.
- Notre Dame will be the third opponent ranked inside the top-10 of D1Baseball’s national poll. Virginia took two out of three against then-No. 6 Georgia Tech and dropped two out of three at home against then-No. 7 Louisville in the regular season. The Cavaliers are 5-10 against nationally ranked foes this season.
AGAINST NOTRE DAME
- In the regular season series, the Irish swept the Cavaliers in Charlottesville for the first time ever. Notre Dame belted seven home runs in the series and outscored Virginia 30-12. Prior to this season, the Cavaliers had won each of the three ACC series played against the Irish.
- The Cavaliers own a 10-8 edge in the all-time series.
- Virginia has played every school besides Pitt in the ACC Tournament and Notre Dame is the only school it doesn’t have an ACCT win against.
- Brian O’Connor is 7-6 against Notre Dame, a program where he spent nine seasons as an assistant coach under current LSU head coach Paul Mainieri. The Irish reached the College World Series in 2002 for the first time since 1957 and have not been back since. Mainieri and O’Connor teamed up for the first time since when they served on the 2018 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team coaching staff.
ACC TOURNAMENT NOTES
- Virginia earned the eighth seed, its highest seed since 2017 ACC Tournament when it was the fourth seed. The eighth seed has won the ACC Tournament twice (Florida State in 2017 and Georgia Tech in 2012).
- 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 53-77 overall record in the ACC postseason.
- Under head coach Brian O’Connor, the Cavaliers have a record of 28-23 overall mark in the ACC Tournament.
POOL A OPENER
- The Cavaliers edged its in-state rival Virginia Tech, 3-2 in the opening game of the ACC Tournament on Tuesday and went 4-1 against the Hokies in 2021.
- Freshman Kyle Teel hit a two-run homer in the third inning, his team leading eighth of the year to highlight the UVA offense.
- Starting pitcher Zach Messinger recorded his third win of the year after pitching a career-high 5.1 innings. He allowed two earned runs and struck out six.
- Four relievers – Brandon Neeck, Blake Bales, Andrew Abbott and Kyle Whitten recorded the final 11 outs to seal the victory.
ON THE MOUND
- Virginia’s team ERA of 3.73 is the second lowest only to Florida State in the Atlantic Coast Conference and ranks 23rd in the NCAA.
- As a staff, Virginia ranks 13th in the NCAA in strikeouts per nine innings (10.7) and 15th in total strikeouts (529).
- The Cavaliers have struck out 10 or more batters 33 times this season. Virginia is 21-12 when fanning 10 or more batters in game.
- Senior Andrew Abbott enters Friday ranked third in the NCAA and is tops in the ACC with 127 strikeouts. The first team All-ACC selection has fanned 10 or more batters in four of his last five starts, including 16 in 7.1 innings of a combined no-hitter against Wake Forest on May 14.
- Abbott’s 127 strikeouts are the fourth most in a single season in school history. He trails UVA baseball hall of famer Seth Greisinger by 14 for third place.
- Abbott finished the regular season with seven wins, tied for the most in the ACC. He’s looking to become Virginia’s first eight-game winner since Alec Bettinger (8-0) in 2017.
- Reliever Blake Bales appeared in his staff-best, 24th game on Tuesday and lowered his ERA to 0.48 after a scoreless seventh inning. The righthander was credited with his team-high sixth hold of the season. He began the year not allowing a run in the first 29.1 innings pitched and has only allowed six of his 23 inherited runners to score. He’s not allowed a run in his last five appearances, a total of 6.2 innings.
- 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.
- Senior Kyle Whitten finished off the Virginia Tech game on Tuesday with a nine-pitch ninth inning for his first save of the year. The righthander has 10 career saves, including two in both ends of a doubleheader against Notre Dame in 2019.
- As a team, the Cavaliers lead the ACC with 27 sacrifice bunts and are ranks third in the conference with 54 stolen bases.
- Virginia collected just five hits to win Tuesday’s contest against Virginia Tech, the fewest in a win since needing just one in a 4-0 victory against Miami on March 27.
- Nic Kent is Virginia’s hottest hitter over the last 10 games, batting .389 (14-for-36) with two doubles, two homers and 14 RBI. Nine of his 14 RBI came in the three-game series against Boston College where the Cavalier shortstop drove in three in each contest. Five of his career-high six home runs this season have come in the last 25 games.
- Third Team All-ACC selection Kyle Teel was Virginia’s only multi-hit performer on Tuesday against Virginia Tech. He has reached in 13-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 .339 (40-for-118) with nine doubles, four home runs and 19 RBI. In that span, Virginia has an overall record of 17-9. Gelof has hit in eight straight games, the longest active streak on the team.
- 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.
- Jake Gelof made his first start of collegiate career vs. Notre Dame, went 3-for-8 (.375) with a double and an RBI in the series. He’s started 11-straight games at first base and has a hit in seven of them.
- 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.
REGULAR SEASON NOTABLES
- 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.
- 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.