#1 UVa. hosts North Carolina in ACC baseball this weekend
The top-ranked UVa. baseball team plays host to North Carolina Friday through Sunday (April 18-20) in a three-game ACC series at Davenport Field. The series opener is at 6 p.m. Friday, with 1 p.m. games on Saturday and Sunday to follow.
The ACC’s Regional Sports Networks (CSN Mid-Atlantic in the Charlottesville area) will carry the Saturday television broadcast; the Saturday broadcast also will be streamed on ESPN3 (subject to blackout). Live video broadcasts will be available for the Friday and Sunday games, while a live audio broadcast will be available Saturday, all through a Cavaliers Live subscription on VirginiaSports.com. WINA 1070-AM and WINA.com will carry the radio broadcast of all three games.
Live statistics (GameTracker) also will be located on VirginiaSports.com. The video, audio and live stats also can be accessed through the Virginia Sports app, which is available through iTunes.
Free parking is available in the University Hall, John Paul Jones Arena and McCue Center lots as well as Emmet/Ivy Garage.
Free seat cushions will be handed out to the first 1,000 fans at the Friday game, courtesy of Virginia National Bank. The fourth set of UVa trading cards will be distributed at the Friday game, and free Koozies will be handed out to the first 500 students as well on Friday.
Following the Sunday game there will be a post-game candy dash and an appearance by the Easter bunny. There also will be postgame autographs and kids’ running of the bases following the Sunday contest.
Virginia in the Latest National Rankings
Baseball America, NCBWA, Perfect Game, USA Today Coaches – 1
Collegiate Baseball – 2
Mike Papi tops the Cavaliers in batting at .320, which is 15th in the league. Papi is among the ACC top 10 in seven statistical categories. Nathan Kirby ranks second in the league in ERA (1.23) and opponent batting (.151), while Nick Howard is tied for the ACC saves lead with 11.
Odds and Ends
• With 31 wins, UVa is tied with Cal Poly for the second most wins in Division I (Louisiana-Lafayette, 34).
• UVa is one of four teams to not have a losing weekend this year (Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisville, Cal Poly).
• UVa owns four shutouts in its last nine games and has an ACC-best six shutouts.
• The Cavaliers have won 14 games this year when scoring five runs or fewer.
• UVa has held ACC opponents to a .182 batting average (all opponents, .192).
Tough Slate To Wrap Up Regular Season
Virginia is in the midst of its toughest portion of the 2014 regular-season schedule. Starting with UVa’s series last weekend vs. Clemson, 19 of the Cavaliers’ final 21 regular-season games are against top-100 RPI teams, including 13 contests against the top 35.
UVa has home ACC series with North Carolina (84 RPI) and Georgia Tech (35) as well as road series at Florida State (4) and Wake Forest (54). UVa also has road games at VCU (25) and ODU (32) on the final two Tuesdays of April and home games with Liberty (16) and VCU in May.
UVa took two of three games against UNC in Chapel Hill last year. UNC swept the Cavaliers in 2011 and 2012 in the regular season; the Tar Heels are the last ACC team to win an ACC series in Charlottesville (April 13-15, 2012).
Noting North Carolina
The Tar Heels enter at 22-15 overall and 9-9 in the ACC. UNC took two of three games in its home series last weekend against Wake Forest and scored three runs in the ninth inning Wednesday to rally and win 5-4 against Elon.
Michael Russell ranks sixth in the ACC and leads the team in batting at .338, while rookie Tyler Ramirez is hitting .311. The Tar Heels are batting .272 as a team, but have a .283 mark in conference play.
UNC historically is strong on the pitching mound, and this year is no different. The Tar Heels own a 2.84 team ERA, which ranks second in the ACC to UVa. Friday starter Trent Thornton is tied with UVa’s Nathan Kirby for the conference lead with seven wins and ranks third in ERA (1.50). The Tar Heels are 11th in the conference in fielding with a .963 mark.