CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 7 Virginia (24-4) will play the final game of a four-game road trip on Tuesday (April 4) when it travels to Liberty (12-15) for a non-conference tilt. First pitch is slate for 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN+ (subscription required).
HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: ESPN+ (subscription required)
RADIO: WINA – 98.9 FM/1070 AM/WINA.com
LIVE STATS: VirginiaSports.com
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP
Tuesday – 6 p.m.
Virginia: RHP Cullen McKay (0-0, 7.94 ERA, 5.2 IP, 3 BB, 9 SO)
Liberty: RHP Todd Hudson (0-1, 5.28 ERA, 15.1 IP, 11 BB, 17 SO)
- Virginia enters Tuesday with the fourth-most wins (24) in the country. Only seven teams in all of college baseball have four or fewer losses in 2023.
- With 27 games remaining in the regular season, Virginia will play 21 of those games in the Commonwealth. Including Tuesday’s game at Liberty, UVA has eight true road games to play this season.
- The Cavaliers are 16-0 against non-conference opponents in 2023 and have won their last 20 games against non-ACC foes dating back to last season. Virginia’s last lost to a non-conference team came on April 19, 2022, a 9-7 extra-inning loss at VCU.
- The Virginia offense is ranked second in the country in team batting average (.333) and hits (336). The Cavaliers also lead the nation in doubles, six more than any other program in the country. The Cavaliers had 11 doubles in its series against Virginia Tech this past weekend.
- On the mound Virginia sports a 3.16 team ERA, the fifth-lowest in the country. Over the past three seasons (2020-22) UVA has a combined team ERA of 3.67, the 11th-lowest in the country and second-lowest in the ACC.
- Virginia and consensus No. 1 LSU is the only team in the country to currently rank in the top-20 in team batting average, ERA and fielding percentage (12th – .982).
- Virginia lost its first weekend series of the season and dropped back-to-back games for the first time in 2023 after losing two-out-of three to Virginia Tech.
- The two Cavalier offense combined to score 17 runs and 26 in the two losses to the Hokes. UVA outhit Virginia Tech 36-31 in the three-game set and 26-24 in the two losing efforts.
- Virginia captured game one in decisive manner, scoring the game’s first nine runs including six in the first two innings.
- With the exception of Brian Edgington on Friday night, UVA starting pitchers in the final two games combined for 3.2 innings pitched. The staff totaled an uncharacteristic, 19 walks over the weekend including a season-high eight in the middle game.
- Virginia scored 10 runs in a game two loss, the first time UVA lost when scoring 10 or more runs since Feb. 22, 2020 in game two of a doubleheader against Bucknell (14-10).
HOW IT STARTED
- Virginia started the season by winning its first 14 games and was the last undefeated team remaining in college baseball before dropping the series finale at North Carolina on March 12. It marked the second-straight year and fourth time in program history (2009, 2013, 2022, 2023) UVA has won its first 14 games of the season.
- Through the first 26 games of the season, UVA matched the best start in program history (24-2). The stretch included road ACC series victories over ranked foes, North Carolina and NC State. The Cavaliers were also 24-2 to start the 2011 and 2013 seasons.
ON THE MOUND
- Righthander Cullen McKay is set to make his first collegiate start on the mound for the Cavaliers. He’s the sixth different starting pitcher for the Cavaliers this season and third freshman to earn a start on the mound.
- McKay has made five relief appearances this season and allowed a total of five runs in his 5.2 innings pitched. He appeared in the Saturday’s loss at Virginia Tech and faced the minimum in the ninth inning while striking out a pair.
- Despite the three games in Blacksburg in which UVA issued 19 walks and surrendered 31 hits, Virginia ranks 12th in the country in WHIP (1.24). The Cavaliers have pitched an ACC-best four shutouts in 2023 and limited opponents to two runs or less nine times.
- Against high octane offense of Old Dominion last week, six Virginia pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts and limited ODU to just five hits in an 8-1 victory. The Monarchs came into the contest as the No. 4 scoring team in the country (10.6 runs per game) and their 57 home runs were the fourth-most of any team in the country. The Cavalier arms limited ODU to just one extra-base hit in the contest.
AGAINST THE FLAMES
- Tuesday will be the 65th meeting between Liberty and Virginia. The two schools separated by just 64 miles have met in 10 of the last 11 seasons with the only exception coming in the shortened 2020 season.
- Virginia holds a 41-22-1 advantage in the all-time series that was first played in 1976, a 16-6 UVA victory in Charlottesville.
- The Cavaliers have won 12 of the last 14 meetings against Liberty including last year’s 7-2 win at Disharoon Park. Under head coach Brian O’Connor, UVA is 17-3 against the Flames.
- Last year Liberty starter Trey Gibson kept the high-powered Cavalier offense in check over the first four innings and it was a 2-1 ballgame after four innings. UVA created some separation in the 5th with a three-run frame and scored five of the game’s final six runs. All nine Cavaliers in the starting lineup had a hit.
PRODUCTION AT THE PLATE
- The Cavaliers are averaging 9.5 runs per game, 12th most in the country and have the fourth largest scoring margin in college baseball.
- Virginia has struck out 180 times as a team this season, the fewest of any team in the ACC.
- UVA has five batters ranked in the top-12 in the ACC in batting average, the only other school with multiple players ranked is NC State with two.
Highest DI Scoring Margin/Run Differential
- Kyle Teel has reached base safely in all 28 games this season and leads the ACC in both batting average (.446) and hits (50). Only six players in the country have reached the 50-hit plateau in 2023. He’s 11 hits shy of matching his entire season total from a year ago.
- Teel has leads the team with 17 multi-hit efforts this season. He has two or more hits in eight of his last nine games.
- Ethan O’Donnell had a monster weekend in Blacksburg and has now hit safely in seven-straight games, the longest active streak on the team. O’Donnell went 7-for-12 with three doubles, a home run and five RBI in three games against Virginia Tech. Four of his seven home runs have come in conference play.
- O’Donnell has been Virginia’s hottest hitter over the last five games, going 11-for-21 (.524) with 10 runs scored, four doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI.
THE HOME RUN CHASE
- Jake Gelof is all alone in fourth place with 34 career home runs at UVA. The junior hit a 459-foot blast in the middle game against Virginia Tech over the weekend.
- Gelof leads the team with nine home runs this season, tied for the sixth-most in the ACC.
- He has homered in his last eight ACC series dating back to last season.
- Only six players in UVA history have 30 career home runs and the last Cavalier to eclipse the 30-home run mark was Mark Reynolds (2002-04).
Most Career Home Runs in UVA History
|1.||E.J. Anderson (1995-98)||37|
|2.||Mark Reynolds (2002-04)||35|
|Jon Benick (1998-01)||35|
|4.||Jake Gelof (2021-present)||34|
|5.||Mike Lindner (1987-90)||33|