CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 11 Virginia (32-10, 13-8 ACC) will host No. 7 Virginia Tech (29-9, 12-7 ACC) in the Smithfield Commonwealth Clash at Disharoon Park beginning Friday (April 29) at 6 p.m. The three-game series continues Saturday (April 30) with a 4 p.m. first pitch and concludes on Sunday (May 1) at 1 p.m. All three games will air on ACCNX and WINA (98.9 FM/1070 AM).
Friday: Students will be allowed to enter the stadium at 4:30 p.m. for a tailgate that features free BBQ sandwiches, chips and Pepsi products on the right field porch. It will be a Sabre Rewards event and the first 200 students in attendance will receive a free koozie.
Saturday: The Virginia baseball program will retire the No. 11 in a special pregame ceremony at approximately 3:30 p.m. Every fan in attendance will receive a free Ryan Zimmerman Shirsey and the first 500 fans can pick up a voucher at either the RF plaza entrance or the Klöckner Ticket Office gate to get an exclusive Ryan Zimmerman Bobblehead. Gates will be open to the public at 2:30 p.m.
Fans can also enjoy an $8 combo deal offer that includes a hot dog, chips and 20 oz soda throughout the game on Saturday. The food trucks Sombrero’s and Got Dumplings will also be stationed near the left field entrance.
Sunday: Youth Day at the Dish will feature an inflatable obstacle course/slide in left field, a balloon artist, poster giveaway, and kids can run the bases as well as collect autographs from the Cavaliers after the game.
GAME COVERAGE: ACCNX is available to authenticated subscribers of ACC Network via ESPN.com and the ESPN app. Additionally the contest can be heard locally in Charlottesville on WINA (98.9 FM/1070 AM) or anywhere on WINA.com. Links to live stats can be found on VirginiaSports.com. Fans can get in-game updates on the team’s official twitter page (@UVABaseball).
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday – 6 p.m.
Virginia Tech: RHP Griffin Green (6-1, 3.44 ERA, 52.1 IP, 15 BB, 43 SO)
Virginia: LHP Nate Savino (4-3, 3.76 ERA, 55.0 IP, 19 BB, 59 SO)
Saturday – 4 p.m. (Gates open at 2:30 p.m.)
Virginia Tech: RHP Drue Hackenberg (8-0, 2.10 ERA, 60.0 IP, 10 BB, 55 SO)
Virginia: LHP Brian Gursky (6-0, 2.47 ERA, 47.1 IP, 23 BB, 57 SO)
Sunday – 1 p.m.
Virginia Tech: TBA
Virginia: LHP Jake Berry (5-2, 3.95 ERA, 41.0 IP, 15 BB, 55 SO)
- Virginia has started its season-long, 14-game homestand by winning its first five games. The Cavaliers will not be on the road until the final ACC regular season series of the year at Louisville (May 19-21).
- The Cavaliers have won each of its last three ACC series at home this season, boasting an 8-1 mark against league foes at The Dish. Dating back to last year, UVA has won its last five ACC series at home.
- Virginia and Virginia Tech are both ranked for the in their annual regular season meeting for the first time since 2010. The Cavaliers were the No. 1 team in the country at the time taking on a then 20th ranked Hokie club.
- The weekend series will feature two of the top hitting teams in the country. UVA is currently hitting .323 as team, the third-best batting average in the country. Virginia Tech ranks fourth nationally with a .320 average.
- UVA is 24-2 at home this season and owns has won 77 percent of its games at Disharoon Park since the facility opened in 2002.
- Virginia remained at No. 11 in this week’s D1Baseball.com top-25. The Cavaliers are ranked has high as No. 5 (Baseball America) and as low as No. 16 (Collegiate Baseball Newspaper) among the major polls.
SMITHFIELD COMMONWEALTH CLASH
- The Smithfield Commonwealth Clash, originally called the Commonwealth Challenge (2005-2007), has been a part of the UVA-Virginia Tech rivalry since 2014. It is an all-sports points-based program with the Commonwealth Clash trophy presented to the winning school each year for its dominance in head-to-head competitions.
- With one point on the line this weekend, Virginia Tech currently leads the Clash 10.5 to 7.5. The final two points are up for grabs at the men’s and women’s ACC Track Championships.
AGAINST VIRGINIA TECH
- The Cavaliers are 106-88 all-time against the Hokies in a series that was first played in 1900, a 12-0 win for UVA in Charlottesville.
- Under Brian O’Connor, Virginia is 35-14 against Virginia Tech and has won 12 of the 15 ACC series matchups in his tenure.
- UVA has won five-straight ACC series against Virginia Tech going back to the 2016 season.
- In last year’s series opener in Blacksburg, The Cavaliers downed the Hokies 18-1, the largest margin of victory in the 122-year history of the series.
- The trip to Charlottesville will be the first for Virginia Tech since 2018. The Cavaliers won the rubber match on Sunday with a walk-off single in the ninth inning by Cameron Comer.
- Since joining ACC play in 2005, Virginia Tech has not won a series in Charlottesville, unsuccessful in seven tries.
- Sophomore Jake Gelof hit his 16th home run of the season on Wednesday against George Mason. He’s now tied with Jarrett Parker and Joe Koshansky for the third most in program history. He’s started the last 66 games for UVA and has hit 20 home runs in that span.
- In 42 games played this season, Gelof has accumulated 65 RBI, tied for the fifth most in program history. He’s one of 12 Cavaliers ever to eclipse the 60 RBI mark in a single season. Teammate Alex Tappen is five RBI away from joining the 60 RBI club.
- Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor moved up to 8th all-time on the ACC’s all-time wins list. He surpassed former North Carolina head coach Mike Roberts on Sunday with his 782nd win.
- Tappen, who has started 52-straight games dating back to last season, has played in 202 career games, tied for the 10th most in school history. Three games played would move him up to sole possession of ninth place on the program’s all-time list.
HONORING RYAN ZIMMERMAN
- Zimmerman will become the first player to have his number retired in the 134-year history of the program. The No. 24 is UVA’s only other retired number, worn by former head coach and UVA administrator Jim West.
- Zimmerman earned All-America honors from Baseball America (Second Team) and the NCBWA (Third Team) in 2005.
- Over his three-year career, Zimmerman batted .355 with seven home runs, 47 doubles and 140 RBI. His accumulated 250 career hits in 174 games, the fifth-most in program history before departing UVA for professional baseball.
- He left UVA as the single season record holder in hits (92 in 2005) and at bats (249 in 2004), both have since been surpassed.
- It took a little over two months since his last college baseball game for Zimmerman to make his MLB debut. In 2005, he was the fourth overall pick in the draft, the highest by any Cavalier at the time.
- Zimmerman was part of the inaugural class inducted into the UVA Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018.
- Virginia trailed twice but went on to score 10 of the last 11 runs in a 17-7 win over George Mason on Wednesday night.
- Ethan Anderson, Casey Saucke and Max Cotier each had four RBI in the contest.
- George Mason became on the fifth team to score five or more runs in an inning against UVA this season with a five-run third inning. UVA went into the game 0-4 when surrendering a five-run frame.
- Virginia answered right back in the bottom half of the third and never looked back. UVA is 26-0 this season when leading after three innings.
THE POTENT CAVALIER OFFENSE
- Virginia is the No. 2 scoring offense in the country, averaging 9.7 runs per game. The Cavaliers have totaled 409 runs in 42 games, second only to UNLV’s 421.
- The Cavaliers have scored 10 or more runs in a game 21 times this season, including 19 of the 26 games at Disharoon Park in 2022.
- Virginia has scored five or more runs in a single inning 23 times this season. The seven runs in the 10th against UNC last Saturday marked the ninth time UVA has scored seven or more in a single frame.
- UVA ranks in the top-10 nationally in batting average (3rd), hits (5th), on-base percentage (4th), walks (6th) and sacrifice flies (7th).
ON THE MOUND
- The weekend rotation of Nate Savino, Brian Gursky and Jake Berry stays intact for the fourth-straight weekend. The Cavaliers have started a lefthander in every ACC game this season.
- In his last outing against Virginia Tech, Nate Savino turned in his best performance of his 2021 season to help UVA clinch the series against the Hokies in the rubber game. Savino pitched into the eighth inning, tossing only 65 pitches in the 6-1 victory. The Cavaliers defense behind him turned three double plays.
- When Brian Gursky pitches, the Cavaliers score and that was no different in his outing against North Carolina last Saturday. The lefthander matched a career-high with nine strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched. He took a no-decision in an 11-7 extra inning win. UVA has scored double digit runs in seven of his nine starts and is outscoring opponents 112-32.
- Jake Berry pitched five strong innings to earn his fifth win of the season on Sunday against North Carolina. He struck out six batters and allowed only one run.
- As a staff, Virginia sports a 3.45 ERA, the eighth-lowest in the country and the lowest in the ACC. In addition, the Cavalier hurlers are allowing only 7.23 hits per game which are the sixth fewest of any team in the country.
- UVA has struck out 452 batters this season the sixth-most in the country. UVA is averaging 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings are the eighth most in the nation.
- Virginia has seven shutouts this season, one behind national leader Vanderbilt. Virginia is one of five teams in the country with seven or more shutouts (Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Stanford, Central Michigan).
- Freshman Ethan Anderson has started five-straight games as the designated hitter and is 7-for-8 with six runs scored, two doubles and four RBI in the last two games.
- Griff O’Ferrall is statistically the toughest hitter in the ACC to strikeout. He’s going down on strikes once every 10.7 at bats. He has 33 walks compared to 15 strikeouts this season.
- Including a sacrifice fly in the Cavaliers’ triumphant comeback over North Carolina last Saturday, Casey Saucke is 5-for-7 with two runs, a double and five RBI in his last three games