Coming into the 2015 season, freshman Adam Haseley was high on the list of reasons for optimism in the Virginia program, and if the Cavaliers were to have a huge season, the thought was that he would be a huge part of that success, both in the field and on the mound.
In a way, that ended up being the case, but probably not in the way that head coach Brian O’Connor envisioned.
During the course of the regular season, he saw plenty of playing time, but he didn’t quite set the world on fire. At the plate, he hit .250 with a .355 on-base percentage and 11 doubles. To his credit, however, he did ably man center field, which is a huge ask for a freshman. On the mound, he played more of a bit role, appearing in 11 games, with five of those being starts.
Come the College World Series, though, his biggest moment, and that of his team’s, came with him on the mound.
With starting pitching options running a little thin at that point in the CWS, Haseley was pressed into duty as the starting pitcher for game two of the CWS Finals against Vanderbilt, and he was up to the task.
Down a game in the series, on the brink of elimination, Haseley stepped up and threw five shutout innings before handing the ball over to the capable arm of Josh Sborz to close out the 3-0 win. As we know, the Cavaliers went on to win the deciding third game 4-2 to take home the national championship, a game that saw Haseley go 2-for-3 with two walks, by the way.
Understandably, this type of performance has the UVA faithful excited about what Haseley has in store for his sophomore season.
According to Aaron Fitt’s fall report on the club for D1Baseball.com, O’Connor plans on having Haseley as a central part of the team in 2016, as a table-setter in the lineup, as well as the center fielder, and he could also be in the Cavaliers’ weekend rotation behind staff ace Connor Jones.
Given his star turn in such a pivotal moment for the team last season, it would not be a shock to see Haseley emerge as one of the top two-way starts in the country in 2016.