Game Notes: UVA, #3 Tennessee set for College World Series opener on Sunday

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Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

Virginia (35-25) will take on No. 3 national seed Tennessee (50-16) in its opening game of the NCAA Men’s College World Series on Sunday.

First pitch at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. is set for 2 p.m. EST on ESPN2.

The entire College World Series will also be streamed on ESPN.com and the ESPN app. In addition, Sunday’s contest 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.

Starting Pitchers

  • Tennessee: RHP Chad Dallas (11-1, 4.10 ERA, 96.2 IP, 19 BB, 118 SO)
  • Virginia: LHP Andrew Abbott (8-6, 3.04 ERA, 100.2 IP, 30 BB, 152 SO)

Road to Omaha

  • June 5 vs. Jacksonville: UVA postseason record, 21 hits – Zack Gelof/Kyle Teel had four hits each, tying UVA postseason record
  • June 6 at South Carolina: Matt Wyatt – 5.0 IP, 0 R, 8 SO – Career-high in IP and strikeouts, first start since March 24 vs. Liberty (allowed 4 runs in 0.2 IP)
  • June 7 vs. Old Dominion: Brandon Neeck 5.2 IP, 16 strikeouts (UVA postseason record). Had 19 career innings pitched and had never pitched more than 2.1 innings in a game prior to the outing. Neeck and Griff McGarry combined for 24 strikeouts, the third most in a nine-inning game in NCAA history.
  • June 8 vs. Old Dominion: Devin Ortiz – 4.0 IP, 0 R, 6 SO (all career-highs). Ortiz made his first career start on the mound and only his third pitching appearance of the 2021 season. He stayed in the game as a designated hitter and hit a walk-off home run in the 10th, the first walk-off homer in UVA postseason history and the first of any kind by a UVA hitter since 2013.
  • June 13 vs. Dallas Baptist: Griff McGarry – 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 10 SO – McGarry carried a no-hitter into the 7th inning and came into the game 0-5 with a 7.53 ERA. The quality start was the first by a UVA pitcher in the 2021 postseason.
  • June 14 vs. Dallas Baptist: Kyle Teel’s grand slam in the bottom of the seventh was the first in UVA postseason history and erased a 2-1 deficit. Matt Wyatt surpassed a career-high set earlier in the tournament with 5.2 innings of relief and matched a career-best with eight strikeouts.

Pitching Notes

  • The Cavaliers are 9-7 in the 16 games which Andrew Abbott has started this season. Four of the seven losses have been one-run games, another was a 2-0 loss at Florida State. In his two NCAA starts, Virginia fell to South Carolina 4-3 and DBU, 6-5.
  • Abbott is the ninth semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award 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. He has also garnered All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, NCBWA, Baseball America and the ABCA.
  • 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 152 strikeouts, the third most in the country. The 152 Ks are the second most in a single season in UVA history, 13 behind Danny Hultzen’s 165 in 2011.
  • Abbott has the second lowest ERA (3.02) 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 100.2. He’s 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. 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.

Lineup Notes

  • Freshman Kyle Teel comes into the CWS riding a 23-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 in a three-game span 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.
  • Jake Gelof has hit all four of his home runs this season in the last 12 games.
  • Alex Tappen had his 15-game hitting streak snapped in the super regional finale against DBU. It marked the longest streak by a Cavalier this season. He kept the streak alive despite not starting in five of the 15 games. He did draw a walk in the contest and he has reached base in 17-straight games.
  • All six of Tappen’s home runs this season have come in the last 12 games, including three in the NCAA Tournament and two in the ACC Tournament.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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