Virginia Baseball | No. 19 Virginia hosts runner in two-game midweek series

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia – 19 Virginia (14-1) returns home Tuesday, March 15, for the first of two games against defending champion MAAC Rider (6-7) at Disharoon Park. Game 2 of the series is scheduled for Wednesday, March 16. Both contests are scheduled for 4 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ACCNX.

GAME COVERAGE: ACCNX is available to authenticated ACC Network subscribers through the ESPN app and ESPN.com. Links to live stats are available at VirginiaSports.com. Fans can get in-game updates on the team’s official Twitter page (@UVABaseball).

PROMOTIONS
Tuesday – tacos tuesday! Tako Nako will have a food truck facility near the left field entrance.

Wednesday – The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a free Virginia green koozie to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

WEDNESDAY PARKING INFORMATION
Baseball fans can park in the JPJ South Lot on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to the NIT men’s basketball game at John Paul Jones Arena, baseball patrons will be required to vacate the JPJ Garage and JPJ West lot at 4:00 p.m. The JPJ East lot will have a release time of 5:30 p.m.

LIKELY STARTING PITCHERS
Tuesday – 4 p.m.
Runner: RHP Alec Sachais (0-0, 9.39 ERA, 7.2 IP, 11 BB, 6 SO)
Virginia: LHP Matthew Buchanan (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2.0 IP, 1 BB, 4 SO)

Wednesday – 4 p.m.
Runner: RHP Vincent Vitacco (0-0, 2.00 ERA, 9.IP, 0 BB, 10 SO)
Virginia: to be determined

BEGINNING

  • Virginia is one of eight NCAA teams with one or no losses. Purdue remains the only undefeated team in college baseball. Mercer, Tennessee, Clemson, Old Dominion, SE Missouri St, Notre Dame and UVA each have one loss.
  • UVA’s 14 wins are tied for third in the nation and their .933 winning percentage is tied for fourth in the nation.
  • Virginia saw its 14-game winning streak snapped in the nightcap of a doubleheader at Duke on Sunday after a 7-6 loss. The winning streak was tied for the second longest in school history. UVA’s school-record 19-game winning streak in 2009 and this year’s 14-game winning streak ended in one-point losses.
  • The Cavaliers are 9-0 at Disharoon Park this season and have won 12 straight home games since last season.
  • Virginia has played three midweek games this season and is outscoring opponents 36-2 in those games. Two of those wins were shutouts (VMI & William & Mary).

AGAINST RUNNER

  • The midweek series will be the first games between UVA and Rider since 2011. UVA has won all six games against the Broncs, including three under Brian O’Connor.
  • UVA won both games in 2011 by a combined score of 16-11.
  • The two schools faced off in a playoff game at the 2008 NCAA Regional in Fullerton, Calif., in which the Cavaliers came away with an 8-2 win after seven solid innings on Andrew Carraway’s mound.

NATIONAL RANKINGS

  • Virginia is ranked nationally by D1Baseball for the first time, entering the poll this week at No. 19. The Cavaliers are now ranked in all six major college polls in the top-25 and are ranked No. 5 according to Baseball America. and college baseball newspaper.
  • Virginia comes out of the ACC’s first weekend ranked 32nd in the NCAA RPI.
  • The Cavaliers enter the nation’s top 10 in ERA on Tuesday (3rd – 1.75), field percentage (8and – .987) and batting average (10and – .328). Virginia is the only program in the country to be ranked in the top 10 in all three categories.
  • The Cavaliers have the No. 2 offense in the nation, averaging 11.3 points per game. The 169 points are second only to Tennessee’s 197.
  • Virginia is the only pitching team in the country with five shutouts this season.
  • Jake Gelof leads the nation in RBI (36) and slugging percentage (1,200). He ranks second in the NCAA in total bases (60) and third in homers (9).

IN THE FIELD

  • Freshman Matthew Buchanan is expected to make his first start on the mound. He played in two games this season, two relief appearances in which he combined to strike out four batters in 2.2 innings.
  • In addition to the third-lowest ERA in the nation, the Cavalier’s pitching staff allowed just 5.98 hits per nine innings, the sixth-lowest rate in the NCAA this season. UVA pitchers have a ratio of 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings, fourth-best in the nation.
  • Of the 15 Cavalier pitchers who have appeared in a game this season, 10 have contributed to the five shutouts of the year. Reliever Devin Ortiz has thrown three of five shutouts this season, the most on staff.

NOTABLE RIDERS

  • Leading the roster for 15 games, shortstop Griff O’Ferrall scored 23 points, 10th in the NCAA and third in the ACC. He co-leads the team with seven stolen bases, tied for fourth in the ACC.
  • Freshman Casey Saucke hit safely in all 13 games he appeared in, the longest streak on the team. He extended the streak despite not starting in two of 13 games, including Sunday when he came on as a batter and hit a deuce in the ninth-inning comeback attempt. UVA Sunday at Duke.

Earnest L. Veasey