Virginia Baseball is off to an immaculate start to their 2023 effort, going 3 for 3 over the past weekend. The Hoos started hot at Disheroon Park on Friday, scoring 24 runs and swatting 20 hits combined. The 24 runs was the most scored by a Virginia opening day roster since 1901, cracking the Navy defense in seven innings, per the slaughter rule. In just six half-innings at the plate, Virginia scored. Putting 14 runs up in the fifth inning, the Hoos delivered a career high single-inning offensive production for manager Brian O’Connor. Kyle Teel, Casey Saucke, Ethan O’Donnell and Harrison Didawick all collected home runs during the contest. In his first start in a Virginia uniform, graduate transfer Brian Edgington fanned three without a walk in 4.1 innings pitched, securing him the win. With the decisive win, the Cavaliers improved to 15-10 all-time against the Midshipmen, outscoring them 70-12 in the past five contests. The cloudy Friday welcomed students, Charlottesville residents, and baseball fans of all walks to the Dish, with free admission offered for the offensive masterclass.
Following their stellar season debut, the Hoos headed down to Wilmington, North Carolina to take part in the Hughes Bros. Challenge. Led by starter Nick Parker, who sent ten Ohio Bobcats to the bench in five innings, the Hoos went on to strike out 15 combined and take the win, 8-4. Matching the offensive explosiveness of their first game, Virginia swatted a combined 19 hits, headlined by Junior Jake Gelof’s tie-breaking home run, his first of the season and 26th as a Cavalier. Kyle Teel, Ethan Anderson, and Henry Godbout were good for three hits a piece to put away the Bobcats and secure the Cavalier victory on Saturday.
Sunday brought another Virginia victory, this time in the form of a two-hit combined shutout spearheaded by Jack O’Connor, Jake Berry and Jay Woolfolk. O’Connor made his excitedly awaited debut, fanning seven and allowing one hit in five innings. Jake Gelof flashed his offensive prowess again, slamming a three-run homer in the first, going onto collect another two hits. Juniors Ethan O’Donnell and Kyle Teel also had multi-hit games, contributing to Virginia’s combined ten hits on the day. The Cavaliers took the game 7-0 before packing their bags for Charlottesville.
Stricken with positive momentum, Virginia looks to continue their winning streak as they enter a ten-game homestand at Disheroon Park, kicked off by a contest against the Longwood Lancers on Tuesday (February 21).