UVA Baseball Team Looks Back on 2011, Forward to 2012
The first perfect game in UVA history.
The ACC regular season and tournament champions.
Eight Major League Baseball draft picks.
The lowest team earned run average in the country.
A school-record 56 wins, the most in college baseball, and just 12 losses.
The #1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The program's second trip to the College World Series in three years.
Two wins in Omaha for the first time ever.
And that's just part of the resume for the Virginia baseball team in 2011.
UVA third baseman Steven Proscia said, "It was the greatest season in program history. There's really no other way to put it."
UVA rising junior shortstop Chris Taylor said, "The emotions were up and down, up and down. It was an unbelievable year."
UVA graduated senior right fielder David Coleman said, "You really can't describe how this season has gone, but it's been an amazing journey."
UVA rising junior pitcher Branden Kline said, "We all knew it was going to be a special year when Mister Will Roberts threw his perfect game. 56 wins, Will throwing a perfect game, Danny (Hultzen) having the unbelievable season he had."
Proscia said, "As a kid, you dream of playing in Omaha. To come out here and be two wins away from going to the national championship game, it's just surreal. It was a great experience. I know it's something I'll never forget. It's something my teammates will never forget and everything. It was just a great year. We just didn't close it out at the end of the year, but it's no reason to be ashamed of what we accomplished this year, and we're just happy about it."
Taylor said, "To end the way it did was tough, but I think when we look back on it later, we'll be proud and realize what we've done was something special."
The team featured seven seniors, including Virginia's starting outfield at the end of the season, John Barr, Kenny Swab, and David Coleman, as well as starting pitchers Cody Winiarski and Lowe's Senior CLASS Award winner Tyler Wilson, who went 10-0 this year.
Coleman said, "I'm just proud of the growth that we've shown. Coming my first year, it's exciting."
Kline said, "They're (the seniors are) literally our leaders. Guys like Tyler Wilson and Tyler Biddix get us pumped up before the game. Then you got guys like Kenny Swab and Dave Coleman and John Barr that do all the small things that you need to win. We're going to miss those guys. They've earned everything they've gotten. I just can't be happier for them."
Proscia said, "They've (the seniors have) meant everything. They've arguably had the best career ever at the University of Virginia. Guys like Tyler Wilson and John Barr, those guys have been here forever. They're really the trademark of Virginia baseball. They've had great careers. It's great that they got to play in Omaha twice. It's just awesome."
Major League Baseball teams drafted four Cavalier rising seniors who might not be back next season...starting pitchers Hultzen, the #2 overall pick in the draft, and Roberts, a fifth round pick who graduated from UVA in May, along with Virginia's all-time RBI leader, third baseman Proscia, a seventh round pick, and catcher John Hicks, a fourth round selection.
But the 'Hoos return All-American pitcher Kline, as well as starting infielders Taylor, Keith Werman, and Jared King for 2012.
Proscia said, "I think it's a bright future. I think there's a lot of talent on this team right now, and a lot of talent coming in next year. It's just reloading and getting after it in the fall. Everyone works hard to get to this point and to get to Omaha and put yourself in a good chance to win a national championship, and I think our team has a good shot next year."
Taylor said, "I'd say the sky's the limit. I hear we've got some really good recruits coming in, and we've got some returning players that are ready to step in and do the job, and I'm very excited for years to come."
Kline said, "We're going to be very, very talented next year, and we're going to do a lot of hard work over the fall and the summer to get some innings in, and we're all going to try to get better. Last year when I was here, they said it was the best year in program history, and the year before that was the best year in program history, so hopefully history can repeat itself, and we can do it again next year and go a little further than we did this year."