Sports

Built for Omaha: Virginia rode pitching and 'D' to regional win; looks for same against Terps

  • Virginia's Nathan Kirby pitches during the first inning of an NCAA college baseball regional tournament game against Arkansas in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, May 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Pat Jarrett)

    Virginia's Nathan Kirby pitches during the first inning of an NCAA college baseball regional tournament game against Arkansas in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, May 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Pat Jarrett)  (The Associated Press)

  • Virginia's Nathan Kirby, right, is congratulated by teammates after coming off the field during the eighth inning of an NCAA college baseball regional tournament game against Arkansas in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, May 31, 2014. Kirby gave up only one hit in eight innings of work. (AP Photo/Pat Jarrett)

    Virginia's Nathan Kirby, right, is congratulated by teammates after coming off the field during the eighth inning of an NCAA college baseball regional tournament game against Arkansas in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, May 31, 2014. Kirby gave up only one hit in eight innings of work. (AP Photo/Pat Jarrett)  (The Associated Press)

  • Virginia pitcher Artie Lewicki (34) pitches during the second inning of an NCAA College regional tournament baseball game against Bucknell in Charlottesville, Va., Friday, May 30, 2014.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

    Virginia pitcher Artie Lewicki (34) pitches during the second inning of an NCAA College regional tournament baseball game against Bucknell in Charlottesville, Va., Friday, May 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)  (The Associated Press)

Virginia coach Brian O'Connor built his team for success in the College World Series.

The season-ending tournament to determine the collegiate national champion is played in a cavernous ballpark where home runs are rare and an emphasis on pitching and defense has proven to be a winning formula.

The Cavaliers (47-13) showed they have both in sweeping through the regional round last weekend. They will try to do the same when surprising ACC rival Maryland (38-21) arrives for the super regional Saturday.

Virginia allowed just three runs in three wins last weekend. Its starting pitchers went 21 2-3 innings before allowing a run, and the Cavaliers' defense continues to rank among the cleanest in the nation.

O'Connor says he thinks Virginia may be playing its best baseball of the season.