Andrew Abbott has had an unusual group of followers as his Virginia baseball career comes to a close in the College World Series.
Abbott, a left-handed All-American pitcher who has been the ace of the Cavaliers' staff, is remembered by high-school rivals who competed against him in another setting.
"He swam at the South Boston YMCA and I know he swam all four years in high school," said Tyler Smith, a graduate of Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke.
"I did swimming and then cycling, and he did swimming and travel baseball. The best I knew him was when we were in middle schools."
Abbott's mother, Jeannette, coached the South Boston YMCA Sea Serpents. of which Andrew was a member.
Smith is a graduate of Virginia Tech who happened to stop by the Hokies' baseball game with visiting UVa earlier this spring.
"It was curiosity," Smith said. "I recognized him when I was on the mound. He did not know I was there. I wish I'd kept better touch with him but I didn't."
What stands out from Abbott's swimming days is his competitiveness. Abbott finished seventh as a senior for Halifax County in the state 5A meet.
"No matter what happened in the pool. he'd always shake your hand afterwards behind the blocks," Smith said.
Offensive lineman Brody Meadows (6 foot 6, 280 pounds) from Graham High School in Bluefield has set a June 25 decision date after visiting Virginia last week.
A decision by Trey Murphy III to make himself available for the NBA Draft has left Virginia without a double-figure scorer from its 2021-22 roster. The top returning scorer is Kihei Clark, who averaged 9.5 points last season, followed by Reece Beekman at 4.7 points per game.
Transfer Jayden Gardner averaged 18.3 points last season for East Carolina and Armaan Franklin averaged 11.4 points for Indiana. Igor Milicic, a 6-9 frontcourt player from Croatia, should add some scoring punch. Clark's 20 3-point field goals are tops among the returnees.
Radford is adding 6-4 Dante Jones, a transfer from Daytona State, where he averaged 13.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in 2020-21. Jones is originally from Inlet Grove High School in Palm Beach (Fla.) County, where he was an all-state selection.
Jones had spent his first of two seasons of junior-college basketball at Palm Beach State.
Following the report that Trey Murphy III will not be returning to UVa, CBS has the Cavaliers ranked 24th in a mid-summer poll that has the Cavaliers in 24th. That's one spot behind St. Bonaventure.
ACC teams ranked ahead of Virginia in the CBS rankings are Duke at No. 8, Florida State at No. 17 and North Carolina at No. 19. Virginia Tech is 26th.
Virginia Tech offensive line coach Vance Vice is ranked college football's No. 21 assistant by 247 Sports. N.C. State cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell, previously of Virginia Tech, is 23rd and a variety of Tech assistants show up on the list.
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