UVa Baseball Will Play Hokies In ACC Tournament Opener
Nate Irving high-five's Reed Gragnani
The 7th-ranked Virginia baseball team will begin the ACC Tournament Wednesday at 3pm against Virginia Tech in Durham, North Carolina.
The Cavaliers are the #3-seed in the tournament, and will take on Georgia Tech Thursday at 11am, and Florida State Saturday at 11am.
UVA finished the regular season with a record of 45-9, tying the record for the most wins in program history.
The 'Hoos also won 45 in 2006, 2010, and 2011.
Virginia matched the mark after taking 2-of-3 games at #2 North Carolina this weekend.
Head coach Brian O'Connor says, "There's not panic in our players when they fall behind, or are in difficult situations. They just keep picking each other up, and finding a way to play winning baseball."
The Cavaliers bounced back from the tough, late-inning Tar Heels win in Game Two Friday to take the series finale 8-7 in 11 innings Saturday.
Sophomore catcher Nate Irving says, "We just kind of looked around, and said, 'This is great. We're in extra innings against the #2 team in the country, we're a Top 10 team ourselves, everybody is screaming and yelling, so matter what the situation is, and no matter what the result is, we just gotta have fun.'"
"I think a lot of people maybe would have expected our team to come in here and lay down, and we did not," says O'Connor. "We came here to win. I think that's a great quality that this team has. We obviously have a lot of momentum, and are playing very good baseball at the most important time."
UVA and UNC are on opposite side of the brackets in the ACC tournament.
The Wahoos say the competition they faced this weekend is excellent preparation for the postseason.
Sophomore outfielder Mike Papi says, "Both teams kept their poise the whole game. It was back and forth, energy flowing. It's a huge win for us to take the series, and a huge confidence builder going into ACC's."
Senior first baseman Jared King adds, "These are the types of games we're going to have for the next month. The poise that we showed today was great. I think this will benefit us a lot going into the postseason."
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