COLUMBIA, S.C. – Dallas Baptist (41-16) hit three home runs including a go-ahead shot in the seventh to take the Super Regional opening game, 6-5 over Virginia (33-25) on Saturday (June 12) at Founders Park. The two teams played eight innings and endured a near four-hour weather delay before concluding the ninth inning.

The Cavaliers nearly knotted up the game in the top of the ninth and got the tying run to third base with two outs. Sophomore Max Cotier (New Milford, Conn.) roped a ball into the hole between first and second that was snagged by a diving Andres Sosa at first base to end the game.

Four of the six games Virginia has played in this year’s NCAA Tournament have been decided by one run.

“Another really great college baseball game, just a battle back and forth,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “We had a great offensive inning there in the fifth inning, we just couldn’t muster enough in any of the other innings after that. Unfortunately, we had opportunities we just couldn’t cash in. I thought Abbott did a nice job after the first inning, really settling in. Dallas Baptist has a really, really good offensive team. When you have 100 home runs, have a bunch of stolen bases, they can obviously swing the bats, they play with a lot of confidence and have good pitching. It’s going to take everything for us to win tomorrow and have a chance to play Monday.”

Freshman Andrew Benefield broke a 5-5 tie in the seventh with a two-out opposite field homer over the wall in right center. The Patriots, who came into the contest ranked third in the country in home runs scored five of their six runs via the long ball.

The Patriots jumped out to a 2-0 lead just two batters of the game. After River Town led off the game with a single, Jackson Glenn clubbed a two-run homer over the left field wall. The senior’s 20th home run of the year.

The Virginia offense broke through in the fifth with a five-run rally. Senior Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) and Jake Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) hit back-to-back homers to tie the game up at two. The homer for Tappen was his fifth of the year, all coming his last 10 games played. Gelof’s blast was his fourth of the year and third of the NCAA Tournament.

The Cavaliers then loaded the bases thanks to a pair of walks and an extra-base hit from Zack Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.). With two outs, the red-hot Devin Ortiz (Nutley, N.J.) delivered a bases-clearing double to give Virginia a 5-2 advantage.

Dallas Baptist plated a run on a fielder’s choice in the fifth and then in the sixth, Sosa hit his ninth homer of the year, a two-run shot to tie the game at five. The home run was Dallas Baptist’s 100th of the 2021 season.

Virginia threatened in the eighth with two runners on and one out. With the count at 3-2, Tappen was hit in the leg by a pitch to load the bases but was called out after a video review, ruling that he intentionally leaned into the pitch and thus by rule turned into strike three. Two pitches later, DBU reliever Peyton Sherlin induced an inning-ending pop to end the frame.

Virginia starting pitcher Andrew Abbott (Republican Grove, Va.) logged five innings and struck out eight batters. The lefthander was charged with four of the six DBU runs in the contest. Abbott’s third strikeout of the game was his 147th of the season and moved him into second place on UVA’s single season-strikeout list.


 1.  Danny Hultzen  2011  165
 2.  Andrew Abbott  2021  152
 3.  Tim Burcham  1985  146
 4.  Seth Greisinger  1996  141
 5.  Tyler Wilson  2011  124

Game two is scheduled for noon in Columbia. A television designation has not been announced but the game will either air on ESPNU or ESPN2.

Additional Notes

  • Tappen’s home run extended his hit streak to 14 games, the longest active streak on the team and tied with Ortiz and Zack Gelof for the longest on the team this season.
  • The five-run fifth marked the 13th time Virginia scored five or more runs in an inning this season and the second time in the NCAA tournament.
  • The Cavaliers fall to 1-2 all-time against Dallas Baptist. All three matchups have come in the NCAA Tournament.