CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 14 Virginia (0-0) will open its 2021 season beginning Friday (Feb. 19) with the first game of a three-game series against UConn (0-0) at Disharoon Park. The season opener is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start.
Game Coverage: The entire series will be carried live on ACCNX, available to authenticated subscribers of ACC Network via the ESPN App. In addition, the games on Friday and Sunday can be heard locally in Charlottesville on WINA 98.9 FM/1070 AM and anywhere on WINA.com Links for broadcasts and in-game live stats are available on VirginiaSports.com. Fans can also follow the Virginia baseball official twitter account (@UVABaseball) for in-game updates.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday – 3 p.m.
UConn: RHP Ben Casparius
Virginia: LHP Andrew Abbott (3-0, 1.35 ERA, 13.1 IP, 8 BB, 28 SO)
Saturday – 1 p.m.
UConn: RHP Joe Simeone (1-1, 3.00 ERA, 15.0 IP, 13 BB, 23 SO)
Virginia: RHP Griff McGarry (3-0, 1.35 ERA, 20.0 IP, 19 BB, 31 SO)
Sunday – 1 p.m.
Virginia RHP Mike Vasil 2-0, 2.45 ERA, 22.0 IP, 10 BB, 23 SO
- The 133rd season of baseball at Virginia will commence with Friday series opener against UConn
- Virginia is 38-14-1 in opening weekends during Brian O’Connor’s 17 years as head coach.
- Virginia has picked up opening day wins in all but five seasons (12-5) under O’Connor’s direction
- The Cavaliers will open the season at home for the first time since 2009, a four-game series against Bucknell and the beginning of a school-record 19-game win streak to start the season.
- Virginia carries an eight-game unbeaten streak against non-conference foes into opening weekend
HOME AT THE DISH
- 2021 will mark the 20th season of baseball at Disharoon Park in which the Cavaliers own a 492-148 (.769) mark
- Before the 2020 season came to a halt, the Cavaliers wrapped a 15-game home stand, the longest in Brian O’Connor’s tenure in which they posted a 13-2 record
- The Cavaliers are scheduled to play 29 home regular season home games in Charlottesville this season.
AGAINST THE HUSKIES
- Virginia owns a 4-2 mark in a series that began in 1963.
- UConn last visited Charlottesville in 2019, a 6-3 Cavalier victory. Virginia broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the eighth with a three-run rally.
- The three games in Charlottesville are the beginning of a 17-game stint away from home to start the season for the Huskies.
NOTING THE HURLERS
- Senior Andrew Abbott will serve as the team’s opening day starter after having a prominent role in the Cavalier bullpen the past three seasons. He has three career starts to his credit, his last coming against Miami in 2019.
- Abbott led all ACC relievers with 28 strikeouts in 13.1 innings pitched last season and as a freshman in 2018 fanned a career-high 74 strikeouts, the sixth-most of any relief pitcher in college baseball.
- Last year’s opening day starter, Griff McGarry, was off to the best season in his Cavalier career in 2020. He allowed just three runs in 20 innings pitched and held opposing batters to a .079 batting average, the lowest in the ACC.
- The Cavaliers will finish the weekend with one of its most consistent starters of 2020, Mike Vasil. The righthander put forth a staff-high, three quality starts in four attempts last year. His highlight of the abbreviated season came against Bucknell on Feb. 22 when he struck out a career-best 10 batters.
- For the first time since 2017, the Cavaliers open the season ranked in every major college baseball poll. The Cavaliers come in as high as No. 5 in Baseball America, the fifth time appearing in its preseason top five since 2010.USA Today/Coaches – 14
NCBWA – 15
D1Baseball – 16
Collegiate Baseball – 14
Perfect Game – 9
- Senior pitcher Andrew Abbott and junior third baseman Zack Gelof were both listed on the initial, 55-person watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, annually given to the top amateur baseball player in the country
- In the release of Baseball America’s top 150 college players, eight Cavaliers were included, tied for the most in the country. Chris Newell (No. 10), Zack Gelof (No. 31), Nate Savino (No. 55), Andrew Abbott (No. 72), Griff McGarry (No. 83), Stephen Schoch (No. 104), Nic Kent (No. 110) and Mike Vasil (No. 136)
- D1Baseball.com unveiled its power rankings by position and it included nine Cavaliers.
3B – Zack Gelof (No. 5)
Relief Pitcher – Stephen Schoch (No. 5)
OF – Chris Newell (No. 3)
Catcher – Logan Michaels (No. 23)
Starting Pitcher – Andrew Abbott (No. 29), Mike Vasil (No. 116), Griff McGarry (No. 147)
Second Base – Max Cotier (No. 23)
Shortstop – Nic Kent (No. 13)
- Four Cavaliers have garnered preseason All-America honors from various publications
RHP Stephen Schoch – D1Baseball (3rd Team); NCBWA (2nd Team)
OF Chris Newell – D1Baseball (1st Team); Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (2nd Team), NCBWA (3rd Team)
3B Zack Gelof – Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (1st Team); NCBWA (1st Team); Perfect Game (2nd Team); Baseball America (2nd Team)
LHP Andrew Abbott – Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (3rd Team); Perfect Game (2nd Team)
- Virginia returns its entire lineup of starting position players, three weekend starting pitchers and its closer from a year ago. In total, Virginia returns 27 letterwinners from 2020 are back in Charlottesville and 11 true freshmen have been added to the roster.
- Logan Michaels, last year’s Billy Word Memorial Award winner annually bestowed on the team’s most valuable player, will serve as a team captain in 2021.
- The 14 wins by the Cavaliers in 2020 were tied for the ninth-most in the nation and tied for the most in the ACC
- After going unranked in the preseason in 2020 the Cavaliers blazing 14-4 start had them either ranked or receiving votes in every major poll and came in as high as 16th according to Perfect Game.
- The Cavaliers finished the season ranked in the top 10 in the NCAA in scoring (9.0 rpg), runs (162), hits (187) and triples (4)
- Freshman Chris Newell ranked in the top- 10 in the ACC in RBI (T-2), on-base percentage (2nd), slugging percentage (3rd), runs (T-3rd), total bases (T-4th), stolen bases (T-5th), batting average (9th).
- Zack Gelof led the ACC in total bases (47), slugging percentage (.746) and runs scored (24). Nationally he ranked in the top-15 in the NCAA in runs (4th) and total bases (11th)
The current guidelines for sports venues provided by the Commonwealth of Virginia under the “Forward Virginia” plan (updated Nov. 13, 2020), allow for the lesser of 30 percent occupancy of the facility or 250 patrons.
Due to health and safety considerations, in addition to the current guidelines for sports venues set by the Commonwealth of Virginia, attendance for UVA home baseball competitions will be limited to the family of student-athletes and coaching staff until further notice.
Should the Commonwealth of Virginia adjust the protocols for spectator attendance, the UVA athletics department will announce new capacity guidelines and other protocols to attend events.