CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia (29-22) will take on Duke (30-20) in the ACC Tournament semifinals on Saturday (May 29) at 1 p.m. at Truist Field in Charlotte, N.C. The contest will be carried live on ACC Network. The winner will advance to the title game to face either Georgia Tech or NC State on Sunday (May 30).
Game Coverage: For information on how to get ACC Network, visit GetACCN.com. Saturday’s game can be heard exclusively on VirginiaSports.com and the official YouTube channel (VASportsTV) of Virginia Athletics. 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
Saturday – 1 p.m.
Virginia: RHP Mike Vasil (7-4, 4.28 ERA, 67.1 IP, 15 BB, 58 SO)
Duke: LHP Luke Fox (1-2, 2.80 ERA, 45.0 IP, 13 BB, 63 SO)
- Virginia has won seven of its last eight games and 10 of its last 13.
- The Cavaliers are looking to advance to the title game for the first time since 2011, also the last time they won the tournament.
- Saturday will be the ninth meeting in the ACC Tournament between UVA and Duke and the first since 2017. The Blue Devils are 6-2 against Virginia in the ACC postseason.
HOW WE GOT HERE
- As the No. 8 seed, Virginia won Pool A with a victory over Virginia Tech (3-2) on Tuesday and then ousted top-seeded Notre Dame (14-1) on Friday. Prior to the 2021 Tournament, both Pool A opponents were the only two teams UVA had not defeated ACC postseason action.
- A two-run homer by Kyle Teel against Virginia Tech in the opening game proved to be the difference against Virginia Tech on Tuesday.
- 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 Friday, Virginia matched its most runs (14) and the largest margin of victory (13) ever in the ACC Tournament in Friday’s 14-1 over top-seeded Notre Dame.
- The Cavaliers hit a season-high four home runs, including three in a five-run second inning.
- Senior Andrew Abbott earned the win after pitching 6.1 scoreless frames and striking out nine. Virginia has scored 56 runs in his last four starts and the lefthander has not allowed a run in his last 30.1 innings pitched.
- The Blue Devils hit eight home runs in a three-game series in Charlottesville earlier this year, the most in a weekend series by a Virginia opponent in 2021. A total of 12 of the 13 Blue Devil runs came via the home run. Virginia has surrendered five long balls since, a span of 13 games.
- The Cavaliers own a 104-63-1 advantage in the all-time series that was first played in 1926, an 8-2 UVA victory.
- Under head coach Brian O’Connor, Virginia is 37-17 against the Blue Devils. The Cavaliers won all but one game in a 16-game stretch from 2009-14.
- Nine of the last 10 meetings have been decided by three or less runs.
ON THE MOUND
- The Cavalier bullpen has pitched 6.1 innings in two ACC Tournament games, the workload spread over six different relievers.
- Mike Vasil will make his 30th career start on Saturday, the most on the Virginia staff. The righthander co-leads the staff with seven quality starts.
- Vasil has established career highs this season in 2021 in starts (13), wins (7), innings pitched (67.2) and strikeouts (58).
- Of the seven Vasil wins this season six have either clinched or helped Virginia avoid a sweep.
- The Cavaliers have struck out 10 or more batters 34 times this season. Virginia is 22-12 when fanning 10 or more batters in game.
- 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.
- Junior Zack Gelof drove in a career-high five runs on Friday against Notre Dame and blasted his seventh homer of the year. He’s batted in the leadoff spot for 27-straight games, batting .350 (43-for-123), with 10 doubles, five home runs and 24 RBI. The Cavaliers are 18-9 since moving him to the top of the lineup.
- Alex Tappen hit his second home run of the season on Friday and has now hit safely in eight straight games, the second longest active streak on the team. Tappen has started two of the eight games during the streak and is 4-for-13 as a pinch-hitter this year.
- Nic Kent also hit his seventh homer of the season on Friday, six of the seven have come in the last 25 games. The Cavalier shortstop is batting .378 (14-for-37) with two doubles, three homers and 16 RBI over his last 10 games.
- Third Team All-ACC selection Kyle Teel has reached in 13-straight games and was the only multi-hit performer on Tuesday against Virginia Tech.
- Jake Gelof cracked his first homer of his collegiate career on Friday after going back-to-back with Alex Tappen in the second inning. It was the third time the Cavaliers hit back-to-back homers in 2021.
UVA AT THE ACC TOURNAMENT
- 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 54-77 overall record in the ACC postseason.
- Under head coach Brian O’Connor, the Cavaliers have a record of 29-23 overall mark in the ACC Tournament.