It’s been almost a month since the Virginia Cavaliers’ 2018 baseball season came to a close with a 4-2 win over NC State. That’s right—a win. It’s only the second time since 1984 the Hoos ended their season with a victory. However unlike in 2015 when that closing W came in Omaha, this season the Cavaliers year ended in Durham at the ACC Tournament. And with that result, an historic run came to a close.
Before this season, Virginia hadn’t missed the NCAA Tournament since 2003. For some perspective, Virginia Football has beaten Virginia Tech more recently than Virginia Baseball missed out on an NCAA Regional. So with that in mind, instead of lamenting what happened this season, let’s take a look just how great these last 15 years were by the numbers.
3500 - The increase in capacity of Davenport Field at Disharoon Park since it opened in 2002. Five major renovations have made the Cavaliers’ home one of the finest in the country with Virginia annually ranking among the top-20 in the country in attendance.
1186 - Miles from Charlottesville to Omaha. Virginia has made the trek four times and the number 1186 has become a rallying cry for Hoos fans and players alike.
668 - Total wins since 2003. That’s third in the country in that span only behind LSU and North Carolina.
288 - Minutes required to complete an 11 inning come-from-behind win over USC in the Lake Elsinore Regional Final in 2015. UVA would go on to beat Maryland in the Super Regionals and advance to Omaha.
97 - The speed in MPH of the first-inning first-pitch fastball Phil Gosselin hit off the scoreboard in left field off San Diego State’s Stephen Strasburg spring boarding UVA to the win in the 2009 Irvine Regional on their way to their first College World Series.
81 - Players Drafted under Coach Brian O’Connor. Averaging about six per season, Virginia has become a pro-baseball factory with 15 Hoos making it to Major League Baseball.
54 - Victories in the NCAA Regionals, Super Regionals, and College World Series. Before 2004 Virginia had only won six games in three NCAA tournament appearances.
53 - Wins in the 2014 campaign. Second only to the 56 wins the Hoos racked up in 2011, the 2014 team may have been Virginia’s best. Unfortunately, one bad inning in the first game of the College World Series Finals against Vanderbilt may have been their undoing. But that shouldn’t take away from how awesome that team was. Ranked number one in the country for most of the season getting close may have been just what they needed to get over the hump the following year.
29 - Records held by players who played for O’Connor out of the 46 total records listed in the UVA Baseball Media Guide.
14 - Baseball America All-Americans. Joe Koshansky, Ryan Zimmerman, Sean Doolittle, Jacob Thompson, Jarrett Parker, Danny Hultzen (three times), Mike Papi, Nathan Kirby, Connor Jones, Matt Thaiss, and Adam Haseley (twice) all earned top honors in the land.
11 - 40 win seasons. Before O’Connor’s arrival, Virginia had never won more than 38 games in a single season.
9 - Times the Hoos were selected as Regional Hosts.
6 - Appearances in the Super Regionals, the Hoos cashed in of four of them to make the trip to Omaha.
3 - No-hitters by Virginia pitchers. Mike Ballard in 2006 and Nathan Kirby in 2014 notched no-hitters while Will Roberts completed a perfect game in 2011.
2, 2 - The number of outs and strikes on the scoreboard in the bottom of the ninth of the third game of the 2011 Super Regional. David Coleman would start the rally before Chris Taylor delivered the game-winning bases-loaded single up the middle punching another ticket to Omaha.
2 - Assistant Coaches who have been there since day one. Kevin McMullen and Karl Kuhn have been mainstays on the Virginia staff during O’Connor’s entire tenure. Their consistency and high level of coaching have been a key facet of the Hoos’ ascendance to college baseball powerhouse.
1 - National Title. Nobody will ever forget Virginia’s epic title run in 2015. From the aforementioned Lake Elsinore marathon, to Ernie Clement’s walk-off against Maryland. Adam Haseley coming out of nowhere (well, centerfield actually) to pitch a gem against Vanderbilt in game two of the CWS finals. And Kenny Towns with a web-gem to stave off a Commodore rally, Virginia finally won the big one and scored arguably the biggest win of any Virginia sport.
So with that, we put a bow on 15 amazing years of Virginia baseball. Fortunately, they’re not going anywhere. A strong corps returns next season in what hopefully becomes the beginning of 15 more years at the top of the college baseball world.