10 Things to Know About the UVA Baseball Team as it Heads to the College World Series

June 14, 2023 By Andrew Ramspacher, fpa5up@virginia.edu Andrew Ramspacher, fpa5up@virginia.edu

The University of Virginia baseball program is back on the sport’s grandest stage.

The Cavaliers won an NCAA super regional series over Duke University last weekend to advance to the College World Series for the sixth time in 14 seasons. Held annually at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska, the event is a tournament of the nation’s final eight teams still standing.

UVA (50-13) begins play in the CWS on Friday at 7 p.m. when it takes on the University of Florida (50-15). ESPN will broadcast the game.

To get you up to speed on the 2023 Wahoos, here are 10 things to know about the team aiming for its second national championship in program history:

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Division Champs

The Cavaliers have already been crowned once this season.

With its 8-7 win over Georgia Tech in the regular season finale on May 20, Virginia became the outright Coastal Division champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The division title was UVA’s first since 2011. Its 44 regular season wins were the second-most in program history.

Non-Conference Perfection

In what is perhaps a good omen for Friday’s game against Florida of the Southeastern Conference, Virginia this season is 28-0 against non-ACC opponents.

The perfect run in the regular season was historic for the Cavaliers as they became the first NCAA Division I team to do so since 2015.

The Wahoos are 3-0 in the NCAA Tournament against non-conference foes thanks to a 15-1 win over Army and two wins over East Carolina University in the regional round.

Legendary Coach

On March 5, thanks to a 16-6 rout of the University of Rhode Island, UVA head baseball coach Brian O’Connor further cemented his legendary status with career win No. 800, all of them coming during his 20 seasons at UVA.

He became just the eighth coach in ACC history to reach 800 wins. (His career record is now 839-351-2 as he heads to Omaha.)

Heading into the CWS, O’Connor, who guided the Hoos to the 2015 national championship, holds a .704 winning percentage, which is the second-highest of any active coach in Division I baseball who has coached for a minimum of 10 seasons.

Home Run King

Jake Gelof, a junior third baseman, is UVA’s undisputed home run king.

On April 11, he moved atop the program’s all-time HR list when he launched career homer No. 38, against the University of Richmond.

Last Saturday, in UVA’s 14-4 win over Duke in Game 2 of the super regional series, he set a single-season record for home runs by hitting his 23rd of 2023.

ACC Player of the Year

Kyle Teel combines with Gelof to give UVA one of the best duos in the country.

Teel, in late May, was named ACC Player of the Year, becoming UVA’s first player to earn such an honor since Sean Doolittle in 2006.

Earlier this month, the junior was selected as one of three finalists for the Buster Posey Award, given annually to the nation’s top catcher. With 105, Teel has the UVA record for most hits in a season. He won the ACC regular season batting title with a .414 average.

Hot Bats

With Gelof and Teel leading the way, UVA boasts the nation’s top team batting average at .335.

The Cavaliers are averaging more than nine runs per game, which is the eighth-best in the country.

Transfers Dominate on the Mound

Over six NCAA Tournament games so far, UVA has allowed only 16 runs. The bulk of the credit for that success goes to a trio of transfer pitchers who have started those six games.

Brian Edgington, who came to UVA this season from Elon University, is 2-0 with a 1.29 earned run average in the NCAA Tournament.

Connelly Early, who came to UVA from Army, is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in the NCAA Tournament. 

Nick Parker, who came to UVA from Coastal Carolina University, is 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA in the NCAA Tournament.

A Quarterback – and a Pitcher

One of UVA’s top pitchers out of the bullpen is someone you’ll see this fall on the football field.

Jay Woolfolk is a rare two-sport athlete on Grounds. This season with baseball, the sophomore right-hander leads the team with 28 pitching appearances. He’s 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA.

Woolfolk is also a quarterback on the UVA football team, expected to compete for the starting position next season.

The Jacket

A tradition that began after UVA’s season-opening win over Navy on Feb. 17, O’Connor hands a “game ball” to a player he felt best positioned the team to win that day. That player then gets the honor of wearing a vintage UVA jacket in the ensuing press conference and until the next game on the schedule.

Look for “The Jacket” to be worn in Omaha, even in the scorching Midwest heat.

Dish Tribute

The UVA jersey – no matter which color or design the Hoos go with for a particular game – includes a patch with the word “DISH” on the right chest.

That’s a tribute to the late Les Disharoon, a longtime supporter of the program who died in April at the age of 90. The Cavaliers’ home field, Disharoon Park, is named in honor of Les and his late wife, Ann Merriweather Disharoon.

O’Connor last Sunday called Les Disharoon a “second father to me.”

“I know he’s up there smiling down on this team right now and very, very proud,” O’Connor said after the super regional win.

Media Contact

Andrew Ramspacher

University News Associate University Communications