Harrington providing spark to UVA rotation

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- When Virginia takes the field in Durham for the ACC baseball tournament against North Carolina Wednesday night, it will be Chesdin Harrington toeing the rubber for the Wahoos.

Its fitting for the junior to get the start because his recent run of success started against the Tar Heels. In April, Harrington came on in relief of Griff McGarry in the third inning. He shut down the then 15th ranked Tar Heels for five shutout innings. In the appearance, Harrington allowed just three hits, striking out three.

That was the 18th and final appearance Harrington made out of the bullpen for the Cavaliers. Since then, he has two starts and led the Wahoos to two wins. Those two starts are the only two starts for the junior this season.

"He's stepped up," said sophomore left-hander Andrew Abbott. "We always said in the bullpen, whenever your name is called, you need to go in an do your job and Chesdin got moved out of the pen to be a starter. He's still doing his job, giving us the innings."

In each of his last three appearances, Harrington has set new career-highs in innings pitched. It started with the five innings against North Carolina. He followed that up with six innings against Louisville and pitched into the eighth at Virginia Tech.

"The outing he had against Louisville, the outing against Virginia Tech, really remarkable," Virginia head coach Brian O'Connor said. "And he's been doing a great job out of the pen for us the whole time and just felt like we needed to make this switch. He's just been really, really steady for us. Pitched us deep into the ball game and given us a chance to win."

His five wins lead the team. His 54.0 innings pitched are good for third and with a 3.45 ERA, that now leads the weekend rotation, good for third among all pitchers on the staff.

Harrington missed all of last season with a shoulder injury. Since then, he's taken a role with the team, helping show the younger pitchers how to handle business. Now, with his role changing, Harrington is still showing others how to get things done and be successful.

"Just learning from him and learning that anybody can do it," Abbott said, "no matter how hard you throw, no matter what your stuff is. Everybody can go out there and do their own thing."