Virginia senior channels Ohtani in playoffs

June 8th, 2021

Move over, Shohei Ohtani -- what Virginia senior Devin Ortiz just did in the college baseball playoffs is amazing.

Ortiz was the starting pitcher for Tuesday's winner-take-all game on the mound against Old Dominion and threw four shutout innings … then stayed in the game as the DH and crushed a walk-off home run in the 10th inning to send the Cavaliers to the Super Regionals.

It was reminiscent of when Ohtani was the starting pitcher and No. 2 hitter for the Angels against the White Sox on April 4 and reached 100 mph on the mound and crushed a 451-foot home run at the plate.

What made Ortiz's performance even more incredible was that he'd barely pitched at all this season -- and Tuesday was his first career start as a pitcher for Virginia.

Ortiz was recruited as a two-way player, but he struggled in that role as a freshman. He then became mainly a relief pitcher as a sophomore, before going the other way and starting to hit almost exclusively as a junior in 2020 and as a senior this year.

Ortiz had pitched only two innings in 2021 before drawing Tuesday's start, but that didn't stop him from holding Old Dominion to one hit while racking up six strikeouts with Virginia's postseason hopes in the balance. He went 2-for-4 at the plate with the walk-off homer.