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Virginia baseball ends season with 4-3 loss to TCU

The big bats never truly connected and the ‘Hoos came up short as a result.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-TCU vs Virginia Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Cavaliers baseball season came to an end today with the team’s second consecutive loss in Omaha coming against the TCU Horned Frogs, 4-3. The Wahoos got respectable performances from the pitching staff with starter Connelly Early going 5.0 innings with six hits and two earned runs. Brian Edginton followed up with 2.2 innings where he allowed five hits and a pair of runs before Bradley Hodges and Jay Woolfolk each notching two outs to keep TCU to four runs.

Unfortunately, the scoring was few and far between for Virginia. Griff O’Ferrall got the offense off to a hot start with a lead off double in the first inning. He scored after Ethan O’Donnell singled to advance him to third and Jake Gelof reached on a fielder’s choice to second base.

UVA didn’t reach base at all for the next three innings while TCU scored a single run in the first and the third to carry a 2-1 advantage heading into the fifth.

Casey Saucke and Harrison Didawick both walked in the bottom of the fifth. Two groundouts advanced Saucke to third before Didawick stole second to put two in scoring position. But O’Ferrall couldn’t recreate his first inning success and grounded out to the shortstop to close the inning.

The Horned Frogs utilized a pair of singles and a walk to tack on an insurance run in the top of sixth. The ‘Hoos couldn’t do anything in the bottom of the inning, but Ethan Anderson provided a major shot in the arm with a lead off home run in the bottom of the seventh. That brought the score to 3-2 with the Cavaliers just a run back heading into the final two frames of play.

Anthony Silva singled in the top of the eight for the Horned Frogs. He trotted over to second base after a sacrifice bunt and then was driven home by Austin Davis’ double. Hodges came in shortly thereafter once Edgington walked a batter with two outs and put out the fire with a strikeout.

A Didawick single to get the bottom of the eighth started gave Cavaliers hope. He stole during O’Ferrall’s at bat and advanced to the corner when the shortstop flew out. That meant that, when O’Donnell grounded out to short, Didawick came home to make it a one run affair once more.

But, as was the trend in both of Virginia’s games in Omaha, the meat of the lineup didn’t produce. Jake Gelof flew out to close the bottom of the eighth and a zero run top of the ninth from Hodges and Woolfolk meant nothing when Kyle Teel struck out, Ethan Anderson grounded out, and a Casey Saucke single was rendered useless by Anthony Stephan’s strikeout to end the game.

Against TCU, UVA was an unfortunate 1-8 with runners in scoring position. Additionally, after stellar seasons, Teel and Gelof combined to go 0-14 in Omaha. That plus the unfortunate ending to Friday’s game against Florida gave the Wahoos little to no hope of a run for the program’s second National Championship.

Nevertheless, this was still a successful season for Virginia. A trip to Omaha should never be taken for granted, and it was an undoubtedly fun year of baseball with plenty of ups and a few downs. Big thanks to program stalwarts Teel, Gelof, and others who will be moving on to bigger and better things this offseason.