Home UVA Baseball Notebook: Godbout comes up big for ‘Hoos in Game 1 win
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UVA Baseball Notebook: Godbout comes up big for ‘Hoos in Game 1 win

Scott German
henry godbout uva baseball
Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia has two homers in four NCAA Tournament games. Henry Godbout has both.

Godbout’s postseason slugging continued Friday night at Disharoon Park, as the Cavaliers rallied from an early three-run deficit against Kansas State to beat the Wildcats, 7-4.

The Cavaliers took a 1-0 lead in the opener of the best-of-three NCAA Super Regional in front of 5,919 energized fans.

Godbout, the UVA second baseman, broke a 4-all tie with a monstrous three-run homer into the night sky, landing about several rows up in the left field bleachers.

The homer occurred after two outs in the seventh, with Virginia runners on the corners.

Facing K-State reliever Cole Wisenbaker, Godbout launched his ninth homer of the season. He’s the lone Cavalier to have a round-tripper during the NCAA tourney.

Godbout said he was looking for a good pitch to hit, and Wisenbaker provided it.

“I was just looking for a good pitch to hit, stay with my approach,” said Godbout. “I got a pitch to hit, it blacked out on me to be honest with you. Pretty special moment,” added Godbout.

Godbout’s blast was the game-winner, but Virginia had plenty of clutch moments throughout the contest.

Virginia starter Evan Blanco (8-3) collected the win as he worked seven strong innings.

Blanco allowed four runs on five hits, with nine strikeouts.

In winning for the eighth time in nine games and fourth time in a row, Virginia (45-15) is one win away from a repeat trip to the College World Series.

How it happened

Kansas State opened the scoring in the first inning with the help of the setting sun, when Virginia centerfielder Bobby Whalen was unable to pick up what looked like a routine fly ball.

The ball landed, and the Wildcat leadoff hitter Brendan Jones wound up at third.

Blanco limited the first-inning damage to one run.

UVA had the home fans restless through the first four innings, leaving six runners on base, before breaking through in the fifth with two runs.

Griff O’Ferrall’s two-run ground-rule double in the sixth put Virginia in front for the first time at 4-3.

O’Ferrall ripped a 3-2 pitch down the line at third base, scoring both Godbout and Ethan Anderson.

Matt Augustin closed out the game for the Cavaliers retiring both hitters he faced, following up an impressive two and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief on Saturday against Mississippi State.

Tough night for K State’s Blake Dean 

Dean inherited a tough situation, for sure.

Coming into the game, Dean had Virginia runners on first and second with just one out.

Dean’s outing started with a wild pitch, promptly advancing both UVA runners into scoring position.

Then, the ground-rule double by O’Ferrall scored both, giving Virginia its first lead.

In the next inning, Dean allowed the first two batters he faced to reach, before being replaced by Wisenbaker, who soon surrendered the Godbout game-winning homer.

Wildcats’ Culpepper had the scouts’ attention 

Jaelen Culpepper, a 6-foot infielder who is a projected 2024 first-round pick in the MLB Draft, didn’t disappoint the scouts in attendance.

Culpepper’s two-run double in the third inning gave the Wildcats an early lead.

A Colorado Rockies scout sitting on press row commented on Culpepper by saying, “He’s got great bat speed, and the buzz with the scouts is simple, you can’t throw him the same pitch twice.”

Scott German

Scott German

Scott German covers UVA Athletics for AFP, and is the co-host of “Street Knowledge” podcasts focusing on UVA Athletics with AFP editor Chris Graham. Scott has been around the ‘Hoos his whole life. As a reporter, he was on site for UVA basketball’s Final Fours, in 1981 and 1984, and has covered UVA football in bowl games dating back to its first, the 1984 Peach Bowl.