Wilson after strong finish to UVA career

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Riley Wilson's career statistics in a Virginia baseball uniform now includes one save. It came on the last night he'll get to pitch in front of the home fans at Disharoon Park.

"That was crazy," Wilson said shortly after Steven Carpenter looking to end UVA's 8-7 win against VCU on Tuesday night. "When I opened up the gate to come out there, I kind of just took a second, and I was like, 'This is potentially it. This could be the last game that I play on this field.'"

"How about that," said UVA head coach Brian O'Connor. "I mean, he's been in our uniform for five years, and this was his last chance to pitch here at this ballpark, and comes in and saves a one-run game."

"Just kind of everything that's gone on the past five years just kind of ran through my head," Wilson added.

The left-hander is the only fifth-year senior on the Virginia baseball roster this spring. He's the last holdover from UVA's national championship team in 2015 -- and also the younger brother of Tyler Wilson, a member of the UVA Baseball Hall of Fame, who pitched at the school from 2008 to 2011.

"I've been here forever, with my brother being here," Wilson said. "I look over and see those little kids running around on the hill and all that. That used to be, that was me."

Because of an injury, Wilson redshirted during that 2015 national championship season -- didn't throw his first pitch until his third year at UVA. He's made 54 appearances out of the bullpen the past three seasons.

Wilson is 1-0 with a 4.09 ERA this spring. His 22 innings pitched and 32 strikeouts are both career highs. He's second on the staff with 21 appearances -- and now, after Tuesday night, with one save.

"Early on, Riley was injured, and just kept hanging in there and getting better and better, and he continued to improve. And has put together a few really, really good years," O'Connor said. "I'm proud of him for tonight, and I'm proud that he wears our uniform and the job that he's done."

"I've come from being the little kid, pestering everybody for a ball, to being here for 100 years. And going out there and the last time on that field in my career in a save situation," said Wilson. "So it all just kind of came full circle, and it was really cool."

The comments sections of CBS19News.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. CBS19News.com tracks IP addresses. Repeat violators may be banned from posting comments.
View Comment Guidelines
powered by Disqus