CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia Association of Sports Information Directors (VaSID) named Brian O’Connor the state’s Baseball Coach of the Year and freshman Chris Newell (Newtown Square, Pa.) took home Rookie of the Year honors. A total of seven Cavaliers were named to the VaSID All-State team including six to the first team.
O’Connor collected his 10th VaSID Coach of the Year award in 17 seasons at Virginia and the first since 2015. Virginia jumped out to a 14-4 record before the 2020 season was cut short due to COVID-19. The Cavaliers were either ranked or receiving votes in every major poll and came in as high as 17th in Baseball America’s Top 25. The 14 wins by the Cavaliers were tied for the ninth-most in the nation with 13 coming at Disharoon Park, the second most home wins of any team in the country.
VaSID Coach of the Year Awards for Brian O’Connor: 2019, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004
Newell adds to a growing collection of accolades in his first year as a Cavalier that include Second Team All-American and National co-Freshman of the Year by Collegiate Baseball Magazine. The first-year outfielder batted .407 with five doubles, a triple and four home runs to go-along with a team-best 20 RBI. He ranked in the top-10 in the ACC in seven different categories.
Newell was joined on the VaSID All-State First Team by Griff McGarry (Portola Valley, Calif.), Andrew Abbott (Republican Grove, Va.), Stephen Schoch (Laurel, Md.), Max Cotier (New Milford, Conn.) and Zack Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.). Senior catcher Logan Michaels (DeForest, Wis.) was a VaSID Second Team All-State honoree.
The Cavaliers occupied both first team relief pitching slots with Abbott and Schoch. After being named VaSID Rookie of the Year as a freshman, Abbott gets a first team nod for the second time in his career. The lefthander struck out 28 batters, the most among any ACC reliever while pitching to a 1.35 ERA in 13.1 innings. Schoch in his first year with the program as a grad transfer led the team and was tied for second in the NCAA with 11 appearances. He ranked second in the ACC and eighth in the NCAA with five saves. He struck out 24 batters in 16.2 innings while pitching to a 1.62 ERA.
McGarry, who served as the team’s Friday night starter, went 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in 20 innings pitched. He allowed only five hits, the fewest of among any ACC pitcher and his 2.25 hits per nine innings was the fourth-lowest in the NCAA.
Cotier, who along with Newell, earned Freshman All-America accolades from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, started every game in his first year on grounds. The left-handed swinging second baseman hit .338 with three doubles, four triples, a home run and 15 RBI. His four triples led the ACC and were tied for the most in the NCAA.
Gelof led the ACC in total bases (47), slugging percentage (.746) and runs scored (24) after batting 3.49 with a team-best five home runs. He’s started 74-straight games at third base for Virginia in his first two seasons and was named a Second Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
Michaels took home the Bill Word Memorial Award for the team’s most valuable player. He started 16 of the 18 games behind the dish and hit .316 with six doubles (t-most on the team), a home run and 16 RBI. He was statistically the fourth toughest batter to strikeout in the ACC (14.3 AB/K).
2020 VaSID All-State Team
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Carson Taylor – Virginia Tech
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Ian Seymour – Virginia Tech
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Chris Newell – University of Virginia
COACH OF THE YEAR
Brian O’Connor – University of Virginia
SP – Griff McGarry – University of Virginia
SP – Ian Seymour – Virginia Tech
SP – Justin Showalter – James Madison
RP – Andrew Abbott – University of Virginia
RP – Stephen Schoch – University of Virginia
C – Carson Taylor – Virginia Tech
1B – Steven Carpenter – VCU
2B – Max Cotier – University of Virginia
3B – Zack Gelof – University of Virginia
SS – Colby Higgerson – Radford University
OF – Chase DeLauter – James Madison
OF – Will Knight – VMI
OF – Chris Newell – University of Virginia
DH – J.D. Mundy – Radford University
UT – Jack Cone – William & Mary
SP – Chris Farrell – William & Mary
SP – Chris Gerard – Virginia Tech
SP – Hunter Gregory – Old Dominion
RP – Austin Gerber – Radford University
RP – Landon Riley – Liberty University
C – Logan Michaels – University of Virginia
1B – Matt Courtney – Old Dominion
2B – Nick Biddison – Virginia Tech
3B – Chris Dengler – Old Dominion
SS – Nick Zona – James Madison
OF – Kyle Battle – Old Dominion
OF – Brandon Henson – VCU
OF – Brandon Raquet – William & Mary
DH – Hunter Hart – William & Mary
UT – Dan Leckie – University of Richmond