Two men’s national championships in a seven-week span have put Virginia in position to win the Capital One Cup, while the numbers did not favor the Cavaliers in the Learfield Directors’ Cup competition.
The major difference in the two all-sports competitions is that the Directors’ Cup rankings are based on men’s and women’s sports finishes combined. There are separate men’s and women’s Capital One cups.
Virginia is sixth in the Directors’ Cup standings.
UVa clinched the men’s Capital One Cup last week when Stanford failed to reach the College World Series. UVa also won that honor in 2015 when it captured national championships in soccer, tennis and baseball.
The men’s and women’s Capital Cup winners each receive $200,000 in scholarship money.
As for Virginia Tech, the Hokies are 45th out of 292 teams in the Division I Directors’ Cup rankings. It would be the lowest result for Tech since it was 45th in 2006. But outside of a 28th-place finish in 2018, the Hokies consistently finished between 33rd and 40th over a seven-year span.
With one champion yet to be declared, the ACC has five schools in the Directors’ Cup top 25, with Virginia followed by No. 8 Florida State, No. 12 Duke, No. 13 North Carolina, No. 16 Notre Dame and No. 23 N.C. State.
Florida State, headed to baseball’s College World Series under retiring 75-year-old coach Mike Martin, is in a position to pass UVa.
Stanford has clinched first place in the Directors’ Cup standings.
Division III cup
Washington and Lee finished with its second straight top-20 finish in the Division III Directors’ Cup, closing at No. 17 after finishing 13th in 2018. Before that, the best the Generals had done was a 19th-place finish in 2004.
Williams was the 2018-19 winner.
W&L scored more Directors’ Cup points in the spring, 352, than in the fall and winter combined (112 in each season). Only four Division III programs — first-place Williams, Emory, Claremont Scripps-Mudd and Wesleyan (Connecticut) — scored more points than W&L in the spring.
W&L’s conference superiority from an all-sports standpoint is reflected in the fact that Lynchburg, the second-best ODAC finisher, was 76th in the final standings, and that was without the benefit of any spring points. Ferrum, after its first school year as an ODAC member, finished No. 270. Without the benefit of an NCAA appearance in the spring, Roanoke College was 289th.
Southern Virginia and Emory & Henry tied for 291st.
Good news for ’Hoos
Maybe the biggest break that Virginia’s baseball team got this season came when pitcher Chesdin Harrington revealed that he will be returning for a fifth season in 2020 after being bypassed in the Major League Baseball draft.
Harrington, who missed the entire 2018 season with an injury, had the best season for a Cavalier hurler this past spring, finishing 5-1 with a 3.49 earned run average. Harrington, who made only three starts in 21 appearances, had 64 strikeouts in 59 1/3 innings.
Promising UVa shortstop Tanner Morris, a fifth-round draft pick, was eligible to sign with Toronto after his sophomore year because he already had turned 21. UVa pitcher Noah Murdock, a seventh-round pick, signed with Kansas City after going 3-6 with a 6.30 ERA.
The No. 1 football prospect in the country, according to Rivals.com, is D.J. Uiagalelei, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound quarterback from St. John’s Bosco in Bellflower, California, who has committed to Clemson. Rivals shows him with 34 offers.
The Tigers, who have commitments from three of the top 10 rising seniors and five of the top 25, also have to be considered one of the front-runners for the No. 3 player on that list, uncommitted Columbia, South Carolina, defensive end Jordan Burch.
Baseball commitments to Virginia Tech include Bryce Harper — not the Bryce Harper, but his namesake, rising senior Bryce Harper, a catcher from Franklin Regional High School in suburban Pittsburgh. He has been committed to the Hokies since 2017, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Southwest Virginia commits
Althought the commitments are more than two years old, George Wythe junior pitcher Avery Mabe (a rising senior) and Lebanon sophomore Matthew Buchanan (rising junior) are still firm on their commitments to sign with Virginia, according to the Bristol Herald Courier. … Cave Spring catcher Jalen Buster, who committed last August to play baseball at Radford University, has also remained solid on that decision, according to a Twitter post.