O'Connor

Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor smiles during a game last season.

Virginia baseball coach Brian O’Connor was named the state’s Baseball Coach of the Year by the Virginia Association of Sports Information Directors on Wednesday. In addition to O’Connor’s award, Chris Newell won Rookie of the Year honors.

In total, seven Cavaliers landed on the VaSID’s All-State teams. Those seven players were Andrew Abbott, Max Cotier, Zack Gelof, Griff McGarry, Logan Michaels, Chris Newell and Stephen Schoch. Michaels landed on the second team, while the other six earned first-team honors.

All seven UVa players are expected to return to the Cavaliers next season. Both Michaels and Schoch plan on using eligibility relief granted to spring sport athletes by the NCAA, while the other five athletes still had eligibility remaining initially.

The Cavaliers led all Virginia programs with six players named to the first team. Virginia Tech, James Madison and Radford all added two players to the first team.

For O’Connor, it’s his 10th VaSID Coach of the Year honor and his first since the Cavaliers won the national championship in 2015.

He helped guide the Cavaliers to a 14-4 record in 2020 before COVID-19 caused the cancellation of the rest of the season. Virginia was 2-1 in ACC play.

UVa was particularly adept at the plate, finishing tied for seventh nationally in runs per game. The Cavaliers averaged nine runs per contest, which tied N.C. State for the best mark in the ACC.

Three of UVa’s seven players named to the VaSID All-State team were pitchers. Abbott and Schoch served as reliable options at the back of Virginia’s bullpen, while McGarry was the team’s Friday starter.

Abbott and McGarry were expected to be MLB Draft choices, but they’ll return to Charlottesville after going undrafted in the 2020 draft.

With some of the best talent in the commonwealth returning for the 2021 season, Virginia is expected to enter next season as one of the best teams in Division I baseball.

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