One year ago today, the Cavaliers announced their arrival at the College World Series with a bang.
Fresh off of Kyle Teel’s go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning to defeat Dallas Baptist in the winner-take-all Super Regional game, the Cavaliers traveled to Omaha for the College World Series. The first matchup for the unranked Virginia team would be the No. 3-seeded Tennessee Volunteers.
Andrew Abbott was the starter for the Cavaliers and his performance was crucial. He got into some trouble in the bottom of the first with runners on the corners and two outs, but managed to strikeout the next batter to get out of the inning.
The offense got going in the top of the third inning when catcher Logan Michaels hit his first home run of the season. What made the moment even sweeter was that his home run ball was delivered to his family in the stands. Logan’s father is a pancreatic cancer survivor who was unable to attend games until that season, and he got to witness his son's huge moment on the biggest stage in college baseball on Father’s Day.
Abbott continued to strand runners either with strikeouts or with the help of his defense. He pitched six scoreless innings, allowing five hits and striking out ten, the most strikeouts by a Virginia pitcher in the College World Series.
In the seventh inning with one out, Logan Michaels continued his impressive game with an RBI single up the middle, scoring Alex Tappen. Chris Newell followed that up with an RBI single of his own, stole second, and scored on a single from Zack Gelof. Then, Gelof stole second and scored on a single from Max Cotier. It was an inning of steady hitting and small ball that included six singles, a sacrifice bunt, and two stolen bases. At the end of the seventh inning, Virginia led 5-0.
Virginia added one more run in the ninth on a fielder’s choice after Michaels and Newell singled to start the rally.
Matt Wyatt came in to relieve Andrew Abbott and was excellent, pitching three scoreless innings and only giving up one hit with three strikeouts. Nic Kent and Max Cotier turned an impressive double play in the eighth, but it was mostly an uneventful final few innings as Wyatt only allowed two baserunners.
Both Zack Gelof and Logan Michaels finished going 3-4 on the day, with Michaels scoring three runs and driving in two and Gelof adding one RBI and one run scored.
This contest was one of Virginia's best all-around performances of the season, with incredible pitching, timely hitting, speed on the basepaths, and great defense. Although the Cavaliers would wind up losing to Mississippi State (the eventual champion) and Texas to be eliminated from the CWS, this game against Tennessee as well as the entire run as a No. 3 seed all the way to Omaha was something special.
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