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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The Virginia baseball team held its first official team practice for the 2009 season with an afternoon session Sunday at Davenport Field. Under clear, blue skies and with temperatures in the low 60s, the Cavaliers worked out as a team in preparation for the 2009 campaign, which kicks off Feb. 20 against Bucknell at Davenport Field.

Led by sixth-year head coach Brian O’Connor, Virginia returns 19 letterwinners from the 2008 squad which went 39-23 while reaching the ACC Championship Game and earning the program’s fifth straight NCAA tournament berth. Four of the Cavaliers’ top six hitters from that team are back for 2009.

This UVa team will be a young, exciting group which includes 22 underclassmen. The Cavaliers feature a plethora of new faces, with 13 newcomers in the fold, including 2008 High School All-Americans Danny Hultzen (Bethesda, Md.) and Steven Proscia (Suffern, N.Y.).

Highlighting the returning starters for the Cavaliers are all four of their outfielders from last year. John Barr (So., Ivyland, Pa.) was the team’s leading hitter in 2008 at .325. Dan Grovatt (So., Tabernacle, N.J.) was the squad’s second-leading hitter (.324) and a Freshman All-American, while David Coleman (So., Richmond, Va.) and Jarrett Parker (So., Stafford, Va.) also are back.

The Cavaliers will be deep on the mound again, with nine returning letterwinners. Andrew Carraway (Sr., Marietta, Ga.) is back to anchor the weekend rotation, while reigning NCAA ERA champion Matt Packer (Jr., Germantown, Tenn.) will be a key component in the staff after recording the fourth-lowest ERA in UVa history (1.14) last season.

Virginia will play host to 39 home games at Davenport Field this season. 2008 College World Series participants Florida State and Miami each will come to Charlottesville, as will Super Regional participants North Carolina State and Coastal Carolina. ACC foes Maryland and Duke also are slated for weekend series in Charlottesville.

Virginia general admission season tickets and 10-game mini-plans are on sale now through the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office. Single-game tickets go on sale Monday, Feb. 9. Tickets may be purchased in person at the ticket office in Bryant Hall, online at or by calling the UVa Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 542-8821.

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