March 14, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The No. 12 Virginia baseball team hits the road for the second time this season when it travels to Clemson this weekend for a three-game ACC series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, S.C. The teams will play at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, while the finale is slated for 1 p.m. Sunday.
All three games will be broadcast live through ESPN3. Audio broadcasts for each game of the series will be available via a Cavaliers Live subscription at VirginiaSports.com. Live statistics also will be available on VirginiaSports.com.
Probable Starting Rotations
Virginia (15-1, 2-1 ACC)
Fri. - Fr. LHP Brandon Waddell (2-0, 1.59 ERA)
Sat. - R-Sr. LHP Scott Silverstein (3-0, 1.85 ERA)
Sun. - So. RHP Nick Howard (2-1, 0.81 ERA)
Clemson (10-5, 2-1 ACC)
Fri. - So. RHP Daniel Gossett (2-1, 1.46 ERA)
Sat. - Fr. RHP Clate Schmidt (2-0, 1.56 ERA)
Sun. - Sr. RHP Scott Firth (2-2, 0.98 ERA)
Noting the Virginia-Clemson All-Time Series
Clemson leads the all-time series, 101-49, but UVa has held the edge of late. Since the current coaching staff started in 2004, Virginia has won 21 of its 25 games versus the Tigers. Virginia has won eight straight games in the series, its longest winning streak ever against Clemson.
UVa swept Clemson last season in Charlottesville and scored two runs in the eighth inning to rally and win, 3-2, in the ACC tournament.
Starters Shine in First Month
Virginia's starting pitchers have excelled over the first four weeks of the season. UVa's starters own a 10-1 record and 1.53 ERA this year, while batters have hit just .229 against them, including only 11 extra-base hits. The Cavaliers racked up a streak of 42 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings which ran from Feb. 16-March 2.
Offense Slow at First, then Gets Rolling
While Virginia's offense has been strong this year, it typically takes a few innings for it to get going. Of UVa's 140 runs, 108 have come after the third inning (77 percent). The Cavaliers' most dominant innings: the fifth (outscored 26-3), seventh (23-6) and eighth (24-3). UVa averages 8.8 runs per game, outscoring its opponents 133-39, and has trailed after the sixth inning in just two games.
Freshmen Playing Key Roles
Virginia has leaned heavily on its first-year players early this season, particularly on the mound. Eleven freshmen already have seen playing time - tied for 13th-most nationally and third among ACC teams (Clemson 13, Maryland 12, BC 11). Tennessee leads the nation with 17 freshmen who have played this year.
Freshmen have accounted for 48.4 percent of the innings pitched this year (69 2/3 of 144 total). Joe McCarthy has started all 16 contests in the batting order.
Virginia Slows the Running Game
Virginia has shown the propensity to slow its opponents' running game this year. UVa has allowed just eight stolen base attempts in 16 games, with six successful steals. UVa pitchers also have picked off six baserunners.
Last weekend UVa allowed three stolen bases to Maryland, which entered with 44 steals in 12 games.
Clemson won, 3-1, against Charleston Southern Wednesday to up its record to 10-5. The Tigers went on the road last weekend and took two of three games against then-No. 8 NC State.
Garrett Boulware leads the team with a .333 batting average and a team-best seven extra-base hits. Steve Wilkerson is batting .293. As a team the Tigers are hitting .248 (11th in ACC). With all three pitchers in its rotation boasting sub-2.00 ERAs, Clemson's pitching staff ranks fourth in the league with an outstanding 2.20 ERA.
The Tigers also own a .969 fielding percentage, which stands sixth in the ACC.
Last Time Out: Virginia 7, Liberty 2
Freshman right-hander Trey Oest pitched five strong innings to lead UVa to a 7-2 win over Liberty on Tuesday. After giving up a run in each of the first two innings, he settled down and retired the final 11 batters he faced. Oest allowed two earned runs, four hits and a walk while striking out three.
Liberty starting pitcher Willi Martin walked the first three UVa batters of the game on just 14 pitches, as the Cavaliers went on the score four runs in the first inning. Virginia finished with eight hits and drew 11 walks off the Liberty pitching staff. Joe McCarthy went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks and two runs scored. Kenny Towns had a pair of hits, while Brandon Downes hit a two-run triple in the first inning.
Virginia returns home Tuesday and Wednesday for 5 p.m. games against Yale. The Cavaliers entertain No. 17 NC State next Saturday through Monday (March 23-25) in a three-game ACC series.