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UVA Baseball gearing up for College World Series super regionals

Senior Christian Hlinka is mobbed by his teammates after driving in the game-winning run.
Senior Christian Hlinka is mobbed by his teammates after driving in the game-winning run.(wvir)
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 8:29 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Earlier in the season, the ‘Hoos found themselves at 4-12 in ACC play. Now they’re two wins away from the College World Series.

“Where we are now it’s just a direct correlation of how hard we work together,” Senior catcher Logan Michaels said.

Senior Alex Tappen says the team was at a point earlier in the season where they knew they had to win every remaining series just to have a shot at making the post season.

“It’s been a crazy ride, crazy turnaround, and I can genuinely say that I’m not surprised,” he said. “If any group of guys were to do that, to the extent of what we’ve done to where we’re in a super regionals, it would be this group of guys.”

Head Coach Brian O’Connor’s message to the team is simple.

“Take care of the game in front of you,” he said. “Go out and play your hearts and and play the best game you can.”

He’s using his past teams’ experiences to help guide this group through the grueling post season process.

“You’ve got to have a short memory,” O’Connor said. “You’ve got to enjoy it. I’ve really expressed to the team, that first and foremost they’ve earned this opportunity, they earned opportunity they had last week, and they’ve earned this opportunity. They need to enjoy it. They need to enjoy each other and have fun.”

Opportunities for deep post-season runs are what entice players to come to the University of Virginia.

“Part of the reason they came here is what past teams in front of them have accomplished and they knew they come to the University of Virginia, if they worked hard, then they might have this opportunity that’s in front of them to play in a super regional and have a chance to advance to Omaha,” O’Connor said.

The games are being played on Saturday at noon, in Columbia South Carolina, a decision O’Connor says is disappointing for both squads.

“It’s unfortunate for the Dallas Baptist team, its unfortunate for the Virginia Cavaliers that we are not, whether it be in Dallas or Charlottesville, that we are not playing in front of a full stadium,” he said.

O’Connor did announce that the ace of the pitching staff Andrew Abbott, will be starting game one but says he has not made a decision on game two.

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