Sport - NCAA
The 'U-Crew' powers Cavaliers back to Omaha
Thursday, June 15th 2023, 8:10 PM EDT
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- After 41 innings pitched and only eight earned runs allowed in six postseason game, what else could you call Virginia's trio of transfer pitchers other than sensational.
“We live in U Heights, so we call ourselves the U-crew," sixth-year pitcher Brian Edgington said moments after finishing a complete game to clinch the Super Regional against Duke.
A year ago Edgington, Connelly Early and Nick Parker were on their own separate paths, but now the U-crew is Omaha bound.
"There were a couple other ones that I was glad he didn’t say just because I didn’t think that they were too good," Early said of Edgington dubbing the trio.
“We’ve been calling it the U-crew since the fall and now it’s starting to catch on," Parker said, "There’s a lot of good things that go on over there at U Heights.”
Little did they know, but the now UVA teammates came across each other before. Edgington dueled against Early last year with Elon and Army and as for Parker.
“I mean I played Nick my senior year of high school, he actually ended my high school career," Edgington said.
Parker can confirm this detail with a grin after taking out Edgington's team in the state tournament in Pennsylvania.
“I did end his high school career, we kind of waxed him pretty good if I remember correctly."
As a program, Virginia lost 80 percent of their innings pitched, but there was never any stress on the part of Brian O'Connor and pitching coach Drew Dickinson.
“We were very, very targeted last year with what we were looking for and we’re fortunate that the young men from the pitching staff decided to come here and they’ve certainly made a huge impact," O'Connor said.
Edgington had committed before Virginia played in the Greenville Regional, while Parker impressed down in Greenville playing for Coastal Carolina.
“We have a thing called Synergy now, so I watched every pitch they threw in college, so you get a good feel for what they do and what they don’t do," Dickinson said, "And hey I like this, I can work with this, I can change this or just plug and play.”
The Cavaliers also presented a transfer pitcher's paradise an explosive offense and an opportunity.
"They just needed to fill a couple little holes in there and I knew Nick was coming, knew that Edge was coming," Early said, "Those guys were already committed, so I was like why not? Let’s do it, let’s do something crazy.”
The UVA rotation has never settled this season with the competition between the three fueling each other.
“The biggest piece of why the program here is so good all the time is you come here and every day you have to fight for a job, everyone is good," Parker said.
Both Parker and Early impressed in NCAA Tournament play, but had never made it out of regional play, while Edgington had never seen the postseason.
"I know that they all came here for the same reasons that I did of going to Omaha and having a chance to play for a national championship," Edgington said.
None could have expected to be on the biggest stages in college baseball, but their performance is enough to leave a smile on any pitching coach's face.
"They came here for those exact moments you saw the last two weekends and to watch those guys be in those moments and soak it up," Dickinson said, "I am going to miss those guys like hell and I hope that I don’t have to say goodbye to them for another two weeks.”