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‘I’m proud as heck of them:’ Virginia baseball’s season is over after falling short against No. 2 Texas

The Cavaliers are coming home from the College World Series after mounting an incredible postseason run

<p>Virginia fought hard to make it this far in the College World Series.</p>

Virginia fought hard to make it this far in the College World Series.

The Virginia baseball team has faced a generous amount of adversity throughout its 2021 campaign. From starting 4-12 in ACC play, to being forced into elimination games in the NCAA Tournament Columbia Regionals and Super Regionals, the Cavaliers (36-27, 18-18 ACC) overcame obstacle after obstacle to punch a ticket to Omaha, Neb. and the College World Series.

“What I’ll remember about them is they just stood up and competed and were not going to be denied of this opportunity to play in June,” Coach Brian O’Connor said.

After winning its first game against No. 3 Tennessee in dominant fashion, Virginia fell victim to a six-run Mississippi State rally and was forced into the elimination bracket with No. 2 Texas. Against the Longhorns (49-16, 17-7 Big 12) Thursday night, the Cavaliers couldn’t overcome their opponents’ strength and lost 6-2.

Texas scored its first run in the second inning with junior right hander Mike Vasil on the mound. Vasil pitched seven innings of baseball and only allowed four hits on 25 at-bats — retiring nine-straight in the span of just a few innings.

In the fifth, the Longhorns added another and went up 2-0 — a lead that didn’t last for long. Virginia scored two runs of its own in the fifth as sophomore outfielder Chris Newell hit a huge home run to bring both graduate catcher Logan Michaels and himself around the diamond. This tied the contest 2-2.

The Cavaliers were unable to produce on offense in any of the remaining innings. Texas, however, added four more despite strong defensive efforts from junior infielder Nic Kent and others. Virginia finished down 6-2 — effectively ending its remarkable season.

“[I’m] just incredibly proud of the way that our young men represented our university and this baseball program,” O’Connor said.

Though the Cavaliers didn’t advance in the College World Series, there are so many accomplishments to celebrate from their entire season and so much to look forward to in 2022.

“There’s no reason that we should come out here with our heads down because we really did do something special as a group,” Newell said.

Virginia Athletics will be hosting an event Saturday at 12 p.m. at Disharoon Park to welcome the baseball team back to Charlottesville. Fans can park in the lower track lot or the JPJ south lot and enter the park through the right field gate. The event is free to the public and will feature comments from student-athletes and Virginia’s head coach, as well as video montages of this season. 

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