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Virginia baseball stuns No. 3 Tennessee in the first game of the College World Series

The Cavaliers captured a sweet 6-0 victory after playing a steady ball game

<p>The team embraced Michaels with open arms and a celebratory huddle after his first home run of the season.</p>

The team embraced Michaels with open arms and a celebratory huddle after his first home run of the season.

Virginia’s College World Series run in Omaha, Neb. began Father’s Day with a contest against No. 3 Tennessee. After making it to this round with their backs to the wall, the unranked Cavaliers (36-25, 18-18 ACC) jumped ahead early and shut out the Volunteers (50-17, 20-10 SEC).

The first team to hit the board was Virginia, as graduate catcher Logan Michaels hit a solo bomb in the third. This was Michaels’ first home run of the 2021 campaign — and an emotional one at that. His dad, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three years ago, was in the stands to watch it happen.

“When I hit that home run, I instantly thought about him,” Michaels said. “It’s really special.”

To cap it all off innings later, the individual who caught the home run ball gave it to Michaels’ dad — the best Father’s Day present he could ask for.

Riding high off that early momentum, senior left-hander Andrew Abbott worked tirelessly to sit down batters and escape from a few tough circumstances. With some help from his attentive teammates on the field who made some crucial plays, Abbott didn’t allow anyone to score and struck out 10 batters.

Still up 1-0 heading into the seventh, the Cavaliers were steadfast in their attempt to protect the lead and score some runs. The first Virginia player to run to home plate was senior first baseman and outfielder Alex Tappen, who scored off a single by Michaels. Up next was Michaels himself who was plated by a single from sophomore outfielder Chris Newell. A few hits, stolen bases and RBIs later, the Cavaliers ended the inning up 5-0.

In the Volunteers’ half of the seventh, sophomore right-hander Matt Wyatt came in pitching in place of Abbott. He pitched a clean seventh and eighth — breaking off every rally attempt by Tennessee.

The Cavaliers dug deeper in the ninth and added one more run. Again, it was Michaels who ran it in off a ground ball from sophomore infielder Max Cotier. This was the cherry on top of the cake for an incredible day by Michaels. Virginia finished with a lead of six — handing the Volunteers their third shutout of the year.

With this triumph, the Cavaliers are advancing in the winner’s bracket of the College World Series. They face Mississippi State Tuesday, with the first pitch scheduled to air on ESPN2 at 7 p.m.


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