Virginia Baseball: ‘Hoos host Villanova in weekend series

Virginia BaseballVirginia (1-3) will continue its 13-game home stand on Friday when it begins a three-game series against Villanova (0-3) at Disharoon Park. First pitch in the opening game is slated for 1 p.m. Games two (Feb. 23) and three (Feb. 24) are both scheduled for 1 p.m. starts.

GAME COVERAGE: All three contests will air on ACC Network Extra, available to authenticated subscribers of ESPN3 through WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Links every broadcast and live stats to each baseball game are available on VirginiaSports.com. Fans can also get in-game updates on the baseball the baseball official twitter page (@UVABaseball)

Probable Pitching Matchups

Friday (1 PM)    

  • Villanova: RHP Jonathan Rosero (0-1, 9.00 ERA, 4.0 IP, 8 BB, 3 SO)
  • Virginia: RHP Griff McGarry (0-1, 15.00 ERA, 3.0 IP, 4 BB, 3 SO)

Saturday             

  • Villanova: RHP Jimmy Kingsbury (0-1, 9.64 ERA, 4.2 IP, 4 BB, 3 SO)
  • Virginia: RHP Noah Murdock (0-0, 4.50 ERA, 6.0 IP, 1 BB, 5 SO)

Sunday

  • Villanova: RHP Gordon Graceffo (0-1, 4.50 ERA, 4.0, IP 3 BB, 1 SO)
  • Virginia: RHP Mike Vasil (0-1, 12.27 ERA, 3.2 IP, 4 BB, 3 SO)

Leading Off

  • This weekend’s series will mark the first meeting against Villanova since 1907. The Wildcats are 2-1 all-time vs. Virginia, winning matchups in 1904 (13-5) and 1907 (9-4)
  • Villanova will be the first of two Big East opponents on the 2019 schedule. The Cavaliers will host Seton Hall next weekend (March 1-3). Brian O’Connor is 8-2 against current member of the Big East (4-1 vs. St. John’s & 4-1 vs. Georgetown).
  • Current Virginia assistant coach/first base coach Matt Kirby served as an assistant coach/recruiting coordinator for Villanova during the 2007 & 2008 seasons.
  • Virginia went 14-4 at home against non-conference opponents in 2018 and is 33-5 against non-conference foes over the last two seasons.

Midweek Report

  • The Cavaliers posted their first win of 2019 with a 9-0 shutout of VMI on Tuesday (Feb. 19) at Disharoon Park.
  • Virginia scored four runs in the in the first inning and five more in the fifth. Nate Eikhoff had a bases clearing, two-out double to highlight the first inning rally. A two-run double by Tanner Morris followed by RBI doubles from Alex Tappen and Brendan Rivoli help blow the game open.
  • Virginia pitchers Evan Sperling, Zach Messinger, Blake Bales and Chesdin Harrington combined for 15 strikeouts in a 2-hit shutout.

Early Season Success

  • Shortstop Tanner Morris collected his seventh hit in four games (T-4th most in ACC) in a 1-for-3 effort against VMI on Tuesday. The sophomore is batting .438 (10th highest in ACC) with two doubles and 4 RBI
  • Classmate Brendan Rivoli added two more RBI to his total on Tuesday and now has five on the year, tied with Zack Gelof for the most on the team.

Offensive Production Behind the Plate

  • Cameron Comer and Logan Michaels have each started two games early on this season. Michaels, who got the nod on Tuesday vs. VMI, is 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI.
  • Senior Cameron Comer has one hit but has reached base a total of seven times in two games. He walked three times in games against Vanderbilt and Cal State Fullerton.
  • Combined, Michaels and Comer have an on-base percentage of .813

Young Cavaliers Contribute

  • Zach Messinger made his collegiate debut on Tuesday vs. VMI, pitching three innings of scoreless relief. The freshman right-hander fanned five batters and is one of four Virginia bullpen arms  (Riley Wilson, Grant Donahue & Kyle Whitten) yet to concede a run this season
  • In his first collegiate at bat, freshman Zack Gelof doubled to lead off the bottom of the first inning against Vanderbilt. He went on to match a school record with three doubles in the game as part of a 4-for-5, two-run, four-RBI debut.
  • The freshman duo of Jack Dragum and Nic Kent have split the starting role at second base through the first four games. Both are seeking their first collegiate hits this weekend.
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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.


The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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