Sunday, the Virginia baseball team’s season was brought to a dramatic close at the hands of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, who pulled off a miraculous 6-0 comeback against the Hoos. This marked the end of an unusual season for the Cavaliers as instead of improving game by game for a run at the end, the team slowly deteriorated over the course of the year.
Despite beginning the season in the cool air of February, UVA began its 2022 campaign white hot by winning 26 of its first 29 games. Fueled by Jake Gelof’s electric yellow bat, the Hoos were an unstoppable force on offense while boasting a sub-2 ERA on the mound. On this trajectory, Virginia entered into the same air as some of the season’s powerhouses, such as Tennessee, as it worked to solidify the team’s spot in the Top 10 and set its eyes on hosting a NCAA Tournament Regional.
However, despite the Cavaliers’ tremendous start to the season, the team quickly saw its competitive flame flicker in the month of April. After being swept by Miami, the team struggled to get things back on track with losses to Old Dominion, Pitt, VCU, Virginia Tech, and Louisville ahead of the ACC Tournament. Though the Hoos bats remained warm, the biggest point of concern became pitching, as the team ERA had skyrocketed from below two in the first 29 games, to above 5 in the following 25. This proved to be a major question mark for Virginia heading into tournament play.
Though UVA aspired to turn things around in postseason play, the ACC Tournament proved to be an indicator of what was to come. The team dropped two games against Florida State (13-3) and Notre Dame (3-0). Though these losses did not affect Virginia’s ability to make the NCAA Tournament, they did solidify Cavalier fans’ looming doubts that UVA would not host a Regional, and that the team would have to hit the road. The Hoos ended up assigned to Greenville....
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