CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia (33-24) is in the NCAA super regionals for the seventh time and will play Dallas Baptist (40-16) in a best-of-three series beginning Saturday (June 12) at Founders Park in Columbia, S.C. First pitch for the opening game is set for noon and will be broadcast live on ESPNU.
Game Coverage: Games one and three (if necessary) are slated to air ESPNU. Sunday’s television designation has yet to be announced but the game will be on either ESPN2 or ESPNU. The entire super regional round will be streamed on ESPN.com and the ESPN app. In addition, all three games can be heard locally in Charlottesville on WINA (1070 AM/98.9 FM) and anywhere on WINA.com. Links for the 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
Saturday – noon
Dallas Baptist: RHP Dominic Hamel (13-2, 3.95 ERA, 86.2 IP, 31, 129 SO)
Virginia: LHP Andrew Abbott (8-6, 2.82 ERA, 95.2 IP, 29 BB, 144 SO)
- For the first time in program history, Virginia won four games to reach the its seventh super regional and first since 2015.
- The Cavaliers are winners of four-straight games coming into Saturday, only the second four-plus game winning streak of the season. The Cavaliers won a season-high, five in-a-row coming out of exam break (May 14-21).
- Coming into the weekend, Virginia has won 11 of the last 14 games and is 16-6 since April 23.
- The Cavaliers are seeking their fifth College World Series Appearance (2009, 2011, 2014, 2015)
• Virginia and Dallas Baptist will be the only neutral site super regional in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Geographically, the Cavaliers will be 363 miles away from Charlottesville while DBU is 1,007 miles away from home.
THE HEAD COACH
- Of the 16 schools remaining in the NCAA Tournament, only Brian O’Connor, LSU’s Paul Mainieri and Vanderbilt’s Tim Corbin have National Championships to their credit.
- O’Connor is 52-33 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. The 52 wins are the sixth most ever among ACC coaches and one shy of matching Clemson’s Jack Leggett for fifth place. His .612 winning percentage in the NCAA Tournament is the fourth highest of any ACC coach ever.
- O’Connor is one of five coaches ever to reach the NCAA Tournament in each of his first 14 years at the helm.
- In the history of college baseball O’Connor is one of two coaches win a national championship (Virginia – 2015), play on a college world series team (Creighton – 1991) and be an assistant coach on a college world series team (Notre Dame – 2002)
SUPER REGIONAL STATS
- Dating back to 2015, Virginia has won four consecutive super regional games.
- Virginia is 9-7 all-time in super regional games
- The Cavaliers have played its previous five super regionals at Disharoon Park. The only other super regional appearance away from Charlottesville was in 2009 when UVA ousted Ole Miss in three games.
- Virginia eliminated Jacksonville, host South Carolina and top-seeded Old Dominion to win the Columbia regional.
- The Cavaliers did not get a quality start from any of its five starting pitchers on the weekend. Virginia’s starting pitchers for the final three games of the regional combined for six starts in 2021 including the first career start for Devin Ortiz in the regional championship game on Tuesday. Those three pitchers – Griff McGarry, Matt Wyatt and Devin Ortiz – combined for 12.1 innings, three runs allowed and 22 strikeouts.
- The walk-off home run by Devin Ortiz in the regional final came after four shutout innings on the mound. It was the first walk-off home run in UVA postseason history and the first walk-off homer for Virginia since 2013.
- Virginia set a school record with 24 strikeouts against Old Dominion in the nightcap on Sunday to force a decisive seventh game. The 24-strikeout performance was only the third time in NCAA baseball history a team has struck out 24 or more in a nine-inning game. The last time a team struck out 24 or more batters was back in 1992 when Auburn struck out 25 against Arkansas. The only other occurrence was in 1971 when Miami (OH) totaled 26 against Wright State, an NCAA nine-inning record.
ON THE MOUND
- Andrew Abbott was named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award this week, the ninth semifinalist in program history, the fourth-most of any college baseball program. UVA has been represented in eight different years, tied for the third-most in the NCAA.
- Abbott had his 31-inning scoreless streak snapped in the regional opening game against South Carolina thanks to a Wes Clarke first inning, opposite field home run. The lefthander pitched 5.2 innings and left with the game tied with the go-ahead runner on second base. After the home run Abbott retired 13 out of the next 14 batters including 10-straight after the Clark long ball.
- Abbott enters the weekend with 144 strikeouts, tied for the second most in the country. The 144 Ks are the third most in a single season in UVA history and two behind Tim Burcham’s 146 in 1985.
- Abbott has the lowest ERA (2.82) in the ACC among qualified pitchers and is tops in the league in strikeouts this season. He ranks second in wins (8) and second in innings pitched 95.2. He’s looking to become the first Cavalier pitcher to eclipse the 100 innings mark since Connor Jones pitched 103.2 in 2016.
- Reliever Blake Bales was one of 10 finalists for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award. He’s one of three Virginia players ever to be a finalist for the award and the first since Branden Kline in 2011. Both Kline and Kevin Arico, a 2009 finalist, are in UVA’s Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Closer Stephen Schoch moved into a tie for ninth place all-time on Virginia’s career saves list after closing out South Carolina in an elimination game on Sunday. He tossed 2.1 shutout innings and struck out five for his eighth save of the year. It marked the fifth time that he registered a save pitching more than one inning.
- The Cavaliers played three, one-run games in the Columbia Regional and went 2-1. The 4-3 loss to South Carolina in the regional opener snapped an eight-game win streak in one-run games. Virginia is 13-6 in one-run contests this season and have played 27 games this season decided by one or two runs.
- Virginia improved to 3-0 in extra-inning games thanks to the game-winner for Ortiz. The extra-inning contest was the seventh in UVA postseason history in which it boasts a 4-3 mark.
- Prior to last weekend Virginia had not won a regional after dropping the first game. The loss to South Carolina snapped a nine-game win streak in regional openers.
- Old Dominion came into the NCAA regional ranked No. 1 in the country in home runs and hit long balls in two games, both occurring in the sixth inning of Sunday’s matchup. Virginia pitching fanned 39 ODU batters in 19 innings.
- The Ortiz home run was the first of the season surrendered by Monarch reliever Aaron Holiday in 28 innings pitched.
- Virginia knotted the regional championship game up on a wild pitch that allowed Zack Gelof to score. The wild pitch was one of two in the inning and one of five on the season by ODU closer Noah Dean.
- Freshman Kyle Teel comes into the weekend riding a 20-game reached base streak the longest by a Cavalier this season and longest since Zack Gelof started off his career reaching in 28-straight games in 2019.
- Zack Gelof and his brother Jake each homered in the regional opener against South Carolina. It marked the second time three games the duo homered in the same game. Jake Gelof went on to hit two home runs in the regional including a 415-foot blast against Jacksonville.
- Zack Gelof became the fifth player in UVA postseason history too have four hits in a postseason game after going 4-for-5 with two runs scored.
- Alex Tappen has the team’s longest active hit streak at 13 games, one shy of the longest by a Cavalier this season. He has kept the streak alive despite not starting in five of the 13 games.