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UVA Baseball: ‘Hoos travel to Liberty for midweek contest

uva baseballUVA baseball (8-7) will play its first true road game of the season on Wednesday (March 13) when it squares off against Liberty (11-4) at Liberty Baseball Stadium in Lynchburg. The midweek matchup will air live on ESPN+.

Game Coverage: ESPN+ is a video streaming subscription service offered on WatchESPN and the ESPN app that is available for an additional monthly fee. An audio broadcast of the game along with live stats are available on VirginiaSports.com and the official Virginia Sports App. Fans can also get in-game updates the baseball official twitter page (@UVABaseball).

Probable Pitching Matchup

Virginia: RHP Zach Messinger (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 4.2 IP, 6 BB, 6 SO)

Liberty: LHP Mason Meyer (1-2, 8.44 ERA, 16.0 IP, 8 BB, 9 SO)

Leading Off

  • Virginia is playing its first true road game of the season as part of a four-game stint away from Charlottesville that includes a weekend ACC series at Georgia Tech (March 15-17).
  • Virginia is 7-5 against non-conference opponents and 3-1 in midweek games this season.
  • Wednesday’s meeting will be the first between UVA and Virginia in Lynchburg since 2016, a 7-3 Cavalier victory.
  • Head Coach Brian O’Connor is 14-1 against Liberty and 6-0 against the Flames away from Disharoon Park.
  • The Cavaliers own a 38-20-1 advantage in the all-time series that began in 1976.

Last Time Against the Flames

  • Virginia has won nine-straight games against Liberty, including a 14-3 victory last year in Charlottesville.
  • Catcher Cameron Comer and shortstop Tanner Morris both went deep last season as Virginia did the majority of its damage in the second (four runs) and seventh (five runs) innings.
  • A combination of eight Liberty pitchers combined to walk 11 batters, the most by a Cavalier opponent in 2018.

Weekend Recap

  • Inclement weather forced Virginia to play a Sunday doubleheader to wrap up its opening ACC series against Duke. It marked the third twinbill of the season for the Cavaliers.
  • Clutch hitting led Virginia to an 11-3 series opening victory on Saturday. The Cavaliers scored eight of the game’s first nine runs, including a six-run, two-out rally in the fourth inning.
  • The script flipped in Sunday’s doubleheader as the Cavaliers were unable to come up with the big hit in a 2-1 loss in game one and 8-6 setback in game two. In game one Virginia was 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base. In the series finale, the Cavaliers scored five runs in back third of the game and brought the game-tying run to the plate in the eighth and ninth innings but failed completely erase an 8-1 deficit.

Where Virginia Stacks Up

  • As a team, the Cavaliers are batting .290, the third-highest batting average in the ACC.
  • Virginia has totaled 10 or more hits in four of the last five games including back-to-back 17-hit performances against Wagner last week.
  • The Cavaliers have struck out 92 times this season, the fewest in the ACC. Last year Virginia were the seventh-fewest strikeouts as a team in all of college baseball.
  • Virginia owns a .977 fielding percentage, the third highest in the ACC.
  • Through 15 games, Virginia is eighth in the country in sacrifice bunts with 14. Five have come off the bat of Cayman Richardson, also the eighth most in D-1.

Player Trends

  • Freshman Nic Kent went 10-for-18 (.556) with six runs scored a triple and four RBI. He also drew five walks in five games and was hit by a pitch, reaching base a total of 16 times in five games.
  • Tanner Morris and Zack Gelof have reached base in all 15 games this season. As of Tuesday, Morris was sixth in the ACC with a .379 batting average.
  • Brendan Rivoli, who leads the team in multi-hit games (8), comes into Tuesday having reached base safely in 10-straight games.
  • • Kent, Nate Eikhoff and Alex Tappen come into Wednesday riding five-game hit streaks.
  • • Splitting time behind the plate, Logan Michaels has made the most of his opportunities, batting .481 (13-for-27). He drove in five runs and collected five hits in four games last week.

On the Mound

  • Zach Messinger is slated to make his second career start on the mound on Wednesday. He’s one of three Cavalier pitchers yet to allow an earned run.
  • Virginia is one of 15 teams in the country with three shutouts this season.
  • Wagner snapped Virginia’s 23-inning opponent scoreless streak on Wednesday (March 6) by plating a pair of unearned runs in the first inning. The streak included back-to-back shutouts of Seton Hall (3/2) and Wagner (3/4).
  • Reliever Chesdin Harrington is tied for the team lead with six appearances and has not allowed a run in his last 9.2 innings pitched. He has fanned 10 batters in that stretch including a career-high seven against William & Mary on Feb. 26.

augusta free press
augusta free press