Harrington couldn't pass on one more season with 'Hoos

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Chesdin Harrington was working out at Disharoon Park on Monday, then heading to class later that afternoon. All part of his regular routine for the past few years -- but not things he expected to still be doing, as of a few weeks ago.

"I never really switched it off," Harrington said, "and I'm glad I haven't because I don't have to do it for another year, at least."

This past spring -- in the midst of his fourth season pitching at Virginia -- Harrington accepted a job at Oracle in Austin, Texas. The plan was to begin his post-playing career this summer, once the Wahoos' season was over.

But then Harrington emerged as the Cavaliers' most reliable starting pitcher down the stretch. He went 2-0 with a 3.44 ERA in three May starts against ACC opponents, including UVA's conference tournament opener. In his postseason exit interview with UVA head coach Brian O'Connor, the idea of Harrington returning for a fifth season was discussed.

"It kind of felt like I'd reached my potential in a way. Felt like I was throwing good baseball down the stretch, and trying to give our team a chance to win," Harrington said. "I think that going into next year, hopefully if I can kind of keep that going in whatever role they have me in, realizing what I have the opportunity to do and really putting my all into the last couple months of the season can kind of carry into next season, and I'm excited for it."

Harrington was eligible for that fifth year at UVA after missing all of 2018 with an elbow injury. He returned to go 5-1 with a 3.49 ERA in 21 games this spring, including those three starts. Saying "you're not quite rid of me yet," Harrington publicly announced the decision to stick around another season last week on Twitter.

So instead of walking away from the game this summer, Harrington is preparing for one more final season with the Wahoos.

"I get to spend another year in Charlottesville," Harrington said. "Get to spend another year at this field, and play here in front of these fans, and spend another year playing the game I love was something too good to pass up."

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