No. 16 UVA baseball opens 2017 season in Charleston
Ranked as high as 16th nationally in the preseason polls, the Cavaliers will take on Liberty (noon Friday), The Citadel (3 p.m. Saturday) and Kansas (10 a.m. Sunday).
- Links to the audio of all three games are located on VirginiaSports.com; all audio broadcasts are free of charge in 2017. In the Charlottesville area, WINA 1070-AM and 98.9 FM will have the radio broadcasts of the Friday and Saturday games.
- The video of the Saturday game against The Citadel will stream online for free via the SoCon Digital Network.
- A link to live statistics also can be found on VirginiaSports.com.
Things to Know
• Virginia returns seven position starters, including veteran catcher Robbie Coman, who missed most of 2016 with an injury.
• Virginia was 14-10 away from home in 2016.
• UVA went 11-4 against in-state foes in 2016.
• Ernie Clement was UVA’s top hitter away from Davenport Field last year, batting .365 (38-104) in road and neutral-site games.
• UVA struck out the fewest times of any ACC team last year (290).
• UVA last played in Charleston in 2015, winning four games at four different sites, including an 18-inning win over Marist in the finale of the trip on Feb. 22, 2015, in the longest game in program history.
Cavaliers Begin 2017 Season
This marks the start of the 129th season of Virginia Baseball. UVA returns seven position starters from its 2016 squad, which went 38-22, including a 19-11 mark in the ACC, which was good for a second-place finish in the Coastal Division. UVA played in the NCAA tournament for the 13th straight year and hosted an NCAA Regional for the ninth time in that stretch.
Noting the Opening Weekend
UVA is 32-8-1 in opening weekends during Brian O’Connor’s 13 years as head coach. The Cavaliers won two of three games last year at Coastal Carolina’s season-opening tournament. UVA is opening the season in Charleston for the first time since competing in the College of Charleston’s tournament to start the 2006 season.
O’Connor Pushes Toward 600
Brian O’Connor ranks 10th in ACC history in wins with 596 and needs 13 victories to surpass former Wake Forest coach George Greer (1988-2004) for ninth. O’Connor scored his 595th win as Virginia’s head coach on May 28, 2016, in the ACC tournament against Louisville, surpassing Dennis Womack (594, 1981-2003) as UVA’s all-time winningest head coach. O’Connor also holds the UVA record for career ACC wins (244) and NCAA tournament wins (47).
Liberty posted a 31-28 record in 2016, including a 12-12 mark in Big South play, and is under the direction of first-year head coach Scott Jackson. LU assistant coach Tyler Cannon played at UVA from 2007-10 and competed in 244 career games (most in program history). Virginia has won six straight games and 14 of its last 15 against Liberty. UVA head coach Brian O’Connor is 11-1 against the Flames.
Noting The Citadel
The Citadel went 17-42 last year, including a 6-18 record in the Southern Conference. Under 25th-year head coach Fred Jordan, the Bulldogs returns 20 letterwinners. UVA holds a 4-0 series edge, but the programs have not met since the Cavaliers’ 5-3 win in the 2006 season opener in Conway, S.C.
Kansas was 20-35-1 overall and 6-17 in the Big 12 last season. KU returns 21 letterwinners, including four position starters. The Jayhawks are coached by Ritch Price, who is in his 15th season at the helm. This is the first-ever contest between UVA and KU.
Virginia comes home to Davenport Field at 3 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 21) to face VMI in the Cavaliers’ 2017 home opener, marking the start of a nine-game homestand.