CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 19 Virginia will host its season-opener on Friday (Feb. 17) against Navy at 2 p.m. The Cavaliers will play the rest of the weekend in Wilmington, N.C. against Ohio on Saturday (Feb. 18) and host UNCW on Sunday (Feb. 19) as part of the Hughes Bros. Challenge.
- Admission to Friday’s game against Navy is free.
- Free parking will also be available in the JPJ South and JPJ west lots on a first come, first served basis.
- Disharoon Park will have concession stands open with a limited menu. No alcohol will be served at Friday’s game.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday, Feb. 17 – 2 p.m. (Charlottesville, Va.)
Navy: RHP Nate Mitchell (2-3, 6.43 ERA, 49.0 IP, 2 BB, 31 SO)
Virginia: RHP Brian Edgington (6-4, 3.56 ERA, 86.0 IP, 27 BB, 86 SO)
Saturday, Feb. 18 – 1 p.m. (Wilmington, N.C.)
Virginia: RHP Nick Parker (6-3, 4.45 ERA, 85.0 IP, 23 BB, 81 SO)
Ohio: LHP Trent Spoon (n/a – junior college) or RHP Zach Weber (0-0, 6.32 ERA, 15.2 IP, 9 BB, 15 SO)
Sunday, Feb. 19 – 3 p.m. (Wilmington, N.C.)
Virginia: RHP Jack O’Connor (n/a – high school)
UNCW: RHP Zane Taylor (4-1, 4.03 ERA, 60.1 IP, 11 BB, 42 SO)
Note: Virginia’s Saturday game will be moved up to 1 p.m. if the UNCW/Ohio game starts later than 6 p.m. on Friday night.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Television: ACCNX (Friday Only) | FloSports (Sunday Game only)
Friday: WINA (98.9 FM/1070 AM)
Saturday: WINA (98.9 FM/1070 AM) – joined in progress after UVA men’s basketball.
**Fans can listen to beginning game on VirginiaSports Mobile App & VirginiaSports.com
Sunday: Virginia Sports Mobile App / VirginiaSports.com
Links for all three games are available on VirginiaSports.com
- Friday will commence the 135th season of baseball at Virginia. Navy was one of seven opponents UVA squared off against in the 1889 inaugural season.
- 2023 will mark the 20th season for head coach Brian O’Connor, he is the second longest tenured coach in UVA history behind Dennis Womack (23 years – 1981-2003).
- Avoiding potential weather in Wilmington on Friday, the Cavaliers will begin their season at home for only the third time in the last 15 years (2009, 2021).
- Virginia has won four-straight games on opening day and own a 14-5 record in the season opener under O’Connor.
- Since 2004, Virginia is 43-15-1 on opening weekends.
- Virginia has won eight-straight February games and went 7-0 in the opening month of the 2022 season.
AGAINST THE FIELD
- UVA will take on Navy for the first time since hosting the Midshipmen in the 2011 Charlottesville Regional, a 6-0 Cavalier victory. The Cavaliers own a 14-10 mark against Navy in an all-time series that began in 1889. Dating back to 2003, Virginia has won the last four meetings by a combined score of 46-7.
- UVA and Ohio will meet for only the fourth time and the first time since a three-game series in Charlottesville back in 1986. The Cavaliers took all three contests against the Bobcats including a doubleheader sweep on March 22, 1986. The only Ohio victory in the series came in 1949, a 2-0 Bobcat victory.
- Virginia will take on UNCW for the first time since opening weekend of the 2014 season, a 7-2 Cavalier victory in front of 3,826 fans at Brooks Field, the largest crowd in the facility’s history. Virginia was the No. 1 ranked team in the country at the time. The Cavaliers have won six of the seven meetings between against UNCW in an all-time series that began in 1979.
- Virginia returns seven position players that started more than 20 games last year and five that started over 40 games.
- The Cavaliers added 21 newcomers comprised of 13 freshman, six graduate transfers and three transfers from four-year schools. The 21 additions to the roster are the most in head coach Brian O’Connor’s tenure.
- The Cavaliers lost nearly 70 percent of its innings on the mound from a season ago including two of its weekend starters, both to professional baseball. Only two pitchers that started a game last season remain on the 2023 roster (Jake Berry, Matthew Buchanan).
- Virginia bolstered its pitching depth with accomplished transfers Nick Parker (219.0 career innings), Brian Edgington (190.2 career innings), Connelly Early (122.0 career innings), Angelo Tonas (115.1 career innings) and Chase Hungate (63.0 career innings). The five pitchers account for 710.0 career innings pitched in college baseball, nearly 200 more innings than the whole UVA staff threw last season.
- D1Baseball rated Virginia’s transfer class No. 18 in the country. Three Cavaliers ranked in the D1Baseball’s top-100 transfers list – No. 15 Ethan O’Donnell (Northwestern), No. 32 Connelly Early (Army), and No. 94 Brian Edgington (Elon).
VIRGINIA AT HOME
- Virginia won 32 of its last 37 games at home, including a school-record streak of 19-straight last season.
- UVA went 29-5 at Disharoon Park in 2021.
- The Cavaliers have won 77 percent (537-165) of its games over the course of 21 seasons at The Dish.
- Juniors Jake Gelof and Kyle Teel were each listed on the Golden Spikes Award Watch List, annually giving to the country’s top amateur baseball player by USA baseball.
- Gelof has earned preseason First Team All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, NCBWA and Perfect Game and Second Team honors from D1Baseball.
- Teel was Baseball America’s First Team preseason All-American at catcher and he also garnered third team accolades from D1Baseball.
- Righthanded pitcher Jay Woolfolk was included on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award Watch list after garnering Freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and D1Baseball.
- D1 Baseball ranked the top players in the country at each position prior to the season.
C – Kyle Teel (No. 3)
1B – Ethan Anderson (No. 34)
3B – Jake Gelof (No. 3)
SS – Griff O’Ferrall (No. 15)
OF – Casey Saucke (No. 16), Ethan O’Donnell (No. 57)
SP – Connelly Early (No. 74), Jake Berry (No. 113)
RP – Jay Woolfolk (No. 8)
ON THE MOUND
- The Cavaliers have three pitchers on staff that threw more than 80 innings last year, Brian Edgington (86.0 IP), Connelly Early (85.2 IP) and Nick Parker (85.0). The Cavaliers haven’t had three pitchers pitch more than 80 innings in a season since 2011.
- Brian Edgington earned the opening day start for the Cavaliers after serving as Elon’s Friday night starter in the back half of the 2022 season. The righthander earned Second Team All-CAA honors and was second in the league with 86 strikeouts.
- Nick Parker comes into his final season of college baseball with 40 career starts under his belt. Although not pitching the 2022 Greenville Regional against UVA, he helped stave off elimination against host ECU with eight scoreless innings and a career 10 strikeouts.
- Righthander Jack O’Connor is scheduled to make his collegiate debut on Sunday against UNCW. The highly touted recruit was the top pitcher and the No. 2 overall player in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He participated in last year’s MLB Draft Combine and was the No. 126 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline.
- Out of the bullpen, Virginia returns two-sport athlete Jay Woolfolk who earned Freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball and D1Baseball last season. He co-led the Cavaliers in appearances last season and struck out 55 batters in 37.2 innings pitched.
YEAR NO. 20
- Brian O’Connor enters the 2023 season 11 wins shy of 800 for his career. He’s looking to become the eighth coach in league history to win 800 games at an ACC school.
- O’Connor the third-longest tenured coach in the ACC behind Elliott Avent (NC State) and Danny Hall (Georgia Tech).
- With 325 career ACC wins, O’Connor is one of eight coaches in ACC history to surpass the 300-win plateau.
- The Cavaliers have reached five College World Series, won the National Championship in 2015 and qualified for the NCAA Tournament 16 times since his arrival in 2004.
- Virginia was the only team in the country to rank in the top-15 nationally in BOTH batting average (11th – .309) and ERA (14th – .309).
- The potent Cavalier offense broke the single season team record for home runs with 75, including 57 at Disharoon Park, also a new facility record.
- Scored 499 runs, third most in program history and most since 2010. Averaged 8.60 runs per game the most in the O’Connor era and the most by UVA since 1985.
- Virginia hit five grand slams this season, the most of any Cavalier team since 2000.