Sustained Success

Virginia coach Brian O’Connor was asked Friday what he considered to be the three most important elements in building a program for the long haul.

Virginia is making its third College World Series appearance under O’Connor.

The Cavaliers first punched their Omaha ticket in Oxford, winning a super regional third game against Ole Miss at Swayze Field.

O’Connor outlined his three-point plan for consistent success.

“Pitching, pitching, pitching. Are we finished?” he said.

Virginia ranks fifth in the NCAA with a 2.21 staff ERA. The Cavs returned 11 pitchers from 2013, eight of which threw at least 30 innings.

After he focused on pitching O’Connor highlighted his other three top components for consistency which were assistant coach selection, recruiting – character and ability – and player development.

“You have those coaches to recruiting the right young men, then you have to develop them,” O’Connor said. “We’re proud of what we’ve been able to do from a player development standpoint. The players coming in are getting better and are moving on to professional baseball, but during their time at Virginia helping us win a lot of ballgames.”

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

Posted in Baseball
  • Killer_Beeze

    There’s nothing like an honest/positive/uplifting review…

    Kendall Rogers
    college baseball managing editor
    Perfect Game USA

    Mike Bianco has done one of his best coaching jobs of his tenure. To me, it’s kind of been about putting all the pieces together. People look at this team and go, “Well, they’re a home-run hitting team with Sikes Orvis and players like that.” But they can really do it one through nine. I just think their balance is impressive. That’s why I think the winner of that Virginia-Ole Miss game is probably going to win that bracket.

    I like the move going with Chris Ellis in the opener. I think Ellis has earned the right and if you win, then you’re in a really good situation with Christian Trent in Game 2.

    I think Ole Miss is playing really good ball at the right time.

    When I saw them earlier this year, my one concern was the bullpen. When they didn’t have Aaron Greenwood, it felt like the bullpen unraveled. Now Greenwood’s back, and when you look at the trio of Scott Weathersby, Josh Laxer and Greenwood, suddenly Ole Miss has three bullpen arms that you really don’t have to worry about what to expect out of them.


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