CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Andrew Abbott struck out a career-high nine batters, and the #14 Virginia baseball team beat UConn 2-1 in its season opener on Friday at Disharoon Park.
The senior left-hander was making his first start since 2019, after pitching out of the bullpen for most of the last three seasons.
Abbott only allowed two hits in his 5.2 shutout innings.
Head coach Brian O’Connor says, “We saw him command his pitches, command three pitches, be able to move his fastball around. It doesn’t surprise me he pitched that well, because that’s the way he’s been doing it, since we converted him to starter.”
“Putting them away, I have to do that early and often, and I think that is one thing I would change,” says Abbott. “But other than that, getting the jitters out in the first inning. It’s been 11 months since you played a college baseball game. Just getting that going, and getting the team on your back, is the best feeling ever.”
The UVA pitching staff combined to strikeout 15 UConn batters.
The Virginia offense was held to just four hits, and the runs came in the 1st and 3rd innings.
The Wahoos had the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the first, and Cavaliers’ catcher Logan Michaels was hit in the helmet by a pitch, which drove in the first run of the game.
UVA added what would turn out to be the decisive run on an RBI groundout by Alex Tappen in the 3rd innings.
Virginia (1-0) was opening the season on its home field for the first time since 2009, and they improve to 13-5 in season openers under head coach Brian O’Connor.
The teams will be back on the field for Game Two of the series on Saturday at 1pm.