Series Notes: Virginia travels to Louisville for weekend ACC baseball series

virginia baseballVirginia (22-16, 7-11 ACC) will continue its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule this weekend with a three-game road series at Louisville (25-11, 9-9 ACC). Beginning with Friday’s opener (April 20), all three games will air on ACC Network Extra.

Game Coverage:  ACC Network Extra, a dedicated digital channel for ACC sports which is available to authenticated subscribers of ESPN3 through WatchESPN and the ESPN app at no additional charge.

The series can be heard live on WINA 1070 AM/98.9 FM locally in Charlottesville, as well as WINA.com. Links to the audio streams along with live stats are available on VirginiaSports.com. Fans can follow in-game updates on the team’s official twitter page (@UVABaseball).

Probable Starting Pitchers

Friday (6 p.m.)

  • Virginia: RHP Derek Casey (5-2, 3.05 ERA, 62.0 IP, 13 BB, 74 SO)
  • Louisville: LHP Adam Wolf (4-2, 2.36 ERA, 24.0 IP, 9 BB, 22 SO)

Saturday (1 p.m.)

  • Virginia: LHP Daniel Lynch (2-3, 4.15 ERA, 60.2 IP, 14 BB, 75 SO)
  • Louisville: LHP Nick Bennett (4-0, 1.45 ERA, 31.0 IP, 10 BB, 35 SO)

Sunday (1 p.m.)

  • Virginia: TBA
  • Louisville: RHP Bobby Miller (4-1, 1.13 ERA, 24.0 IP, 9 BB, 22 SO)

Leading Off

  • Virginia has played in the city of Louisville the past two seasons, last year at the ACC Tournament and a road series against the Cardinals in 2016.
  • This weekend will mark the second ever series between the Cardinals and Cavaliers in Louisville and fourth overall.
  • Louisville has won seven of the 10 all-time meetings against Virginia, including two out of three in Charlottesville last season.
  • The Cardinals come into this weekend winners of their last five games, three in a weekend sweep against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
  • Virginia begins its longest stint away from Disharoon Park this season with four-straight road games.
  • The Cavaliers closed out their second 10-game home stand of the 2018 season with midweek wins over George Washington (3-2) and Liberty (14-3). Virginia boasts an 18-7 mark at home and are 2-9 on the road this season.

Midweek Notes

  • Virginia scored a season-high 14 runs inWednesdaynight’s victory over Liberty and their 11-run margin of victory was the second-highest of any win this season.
  • The Cavaliers were aided by 11 walks issued by a combination of eight Liberty pitchers.
  • Virginia produced its sixth walk-off victory of the season in a 12-inning affair against George Washingtonon Tuesdaynight. Freshman Brendan Rivoli delivered the game-winning double to score classmate Alex Tappen.

Freshman Trio

  • The Cavaliers’ hottest hitter has been local product, freshman Tanner Morris who hit .422 (19-for-45) during the 10-game home stand. He scored a team-high 14 runs in that span and belted his second home run of the season inWednesday’swin against Liberty.
  • Freshman Brendan Rivoli has come through in the clutch twice in the last seven games. Nine days prior toTuesday’swalk-off winner, the designated hitter tied the series finale against Virginia Tech with an RBI triple in the eighth inning. He went on to score the game-winning run on a Cameron Comer single.
  • Alex Tappen, who has started every single game in right field for Virginia this season, drove in a run in seven-straight games during the home stand. His 26 RBIs are the third most on the team.

Hoos in Louisville

  • The Cavaliers took game one in the 2016 series at Jim Patterson Stadium, 6-3 before dropping the final two games by a combined score of 26-4.
  • In the final game of last year’s ACC Tournament, the Cavaliers scored eight runs in the first inning in a Pool D game against then-No. 14 Clemson. Virginia racked up 15 hits, including nine in the big opening frame, to come away with a 10-2 victory.

ACC/National Rankings

  • Virginia comes into the weekend with a .274 team batting average, the fourth-highest in the ACC. As a team the Cavaliers have struck out 214 times, the lowest total in the league.
  • Andy Weber’s ranks second in the conference in hits (54) and doubles (15). He ranks in the top-10 in the ACC in total bases (3rd), batting average (4th), RBI (5th) and slugging percentage (9th).
  • Daniel Lynch (75 strikeouts) and Derek Casey (74 strikeouts) rank second and third in the ACC, respectively.
  • The Cavalier pitching staff has struck out 10.7 batters per game, the fifth highest ratio in the country. Virginia pitchers combined to strike out 14 batters in each of the midweek games prior to the series and have struck out 10 or more batters in 24 of the 38 games this year
  • Last weekend’s opener against North Carolina was the sixth shutout of the season for Virginia, tied for the fifth most in the country. Three of the six shutouts have come in ACC play.

Player Notes/Trends

  • Cayman Richardson is currently riding a 13-game hitting streak, tied the second longest on the team this season. A converted infielder, Richardson has started in center field for the last 17 games and leads the team with four outfield assists.
  • Aided by a 3-for-5 efforton Wednesday, junior Andy Weber has now reached base safely in 24 consecutive games. He went hitless against George Washingtonon Tuesday for only the fifth time this season.
  • From the lead-off spot, Tanner Morris has led the game off with a hit in 10 of his 24 chances. He has reached base in 11 of those occasions in which the Cavaliers own an 8-3 record.
  • Junior Cameron Comer has started the last 15 games at catcher for the Cavaliers. At the plate he has hit safely in his last seven games, including three multi-hit efforts. He belted his second home run of the season to open up a five-run seventh inning against Libertyon Wednesday.
  • Virginia reliever Andrew Abbott has not allowed a base runner in each of his last two appearances, a span of six innings. His 15 relief appearances are the third most on the team.
  • Fridaynight’s starting pitcher, Derek Casey, has not allowed a run in his last 15 innings pitched. He is one of two ACC pitchers to throw a complete game shutout this season.

Noting Louisville

  • The Cardinals statistically have the top pitching staff in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a staff ERA of 3.36. All three weekend starters boast a sub-3.00 ERA including Wolf who ranks third in the league with a 2.36 ERA in nine starts.
  • After sweeping Virginia Tech in Blacksburg last weekend, Louisville topped in-state rival No. 9 Kentucky, 8-2 in Lexingtonon Tuesdaynight. Five Cardinal pitchers combined to allow just three Wildcat hits.
  • The series win for the Cardinals against the Hokies was only the second in ACC play this season. After opening up ACC play by taking two of three against North Carolina, Louisville has dropped series to NC State, Wake Forest and Florida State.
  • The Cardinals lead the league with 75 stolen bases, 23 of them coming from Josh Stowers. Jake Snider and Tyler Fitzgerald also rank among the top-10 base stealers in the league with 17 and 15, respectively.

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