Virginia opens season with offensive fireworks scoring 24 runs
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- The Virginia bats picked up where they left off scoring 24 runs to cruise to a 24-5 win over Navy on opening day at Disharoon Park.
The Cavaliers boast one of the deepest lineups in Brian O'Connor's 20-year tenure and showed off the depth on Friday with 11 different players credited with an RBI.
"We were just really locked in offensively, hit a lot of balls hard, a lot of guys had great offensive days from day one," O'Connor said, "There's a number of guys that can step in there and do the job and I've got a lot of confidence in all of them."
The offensive fireworks started early for UVA with Northwestern transfer Ethan O'Donnell hitting a two-run homer to left center field in his second at bat in a Virginia uniform to extend the lead to 5-0. O'Donnell, Kyle Teel, Casey Saucke and true freshman Harrison Didawick all went yard as well, a year after the Cavaliers broke the program record for home runs in a season.
"It's a blast, it's everything that's advertised, fans here, the support that they have," junior outfielder Ethan O'Donnell said, "It's an absolute blast when you put in a lot of hard work to earn that score on the board, looking forward to a lot more."
O'Donnell and Jake Gelof, the program's record-holder for RBI in a season, each had three RBI, but outfielder Chis Baker came off the bench to bring four runs in to lead the Virginia effort on the day. The 24 runs are the most by UVA since last February in the series opener against Cornell and the 20 hits are the most by the program since the 2021 NCAA Regional win against Jacksonville.
"We have a very good offensive team and I think that's what's going to carry us as long as we keep stringing hits along and are disciplined at the plate I think that's what's going to carry us very far this season," sophomore outfielder Casey Saucke said, "I have full confidence in that."
Elon transfer Brian Edgington made the start on opening day, pitching 4.1 with three strikeouts and only two earned runs while picking up the win. Virginia will travel to Wilmington to play Ohio on Saturday and UNC Wilmington on Sunday.