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2021 College World Series: Tennessee falls short in opener against Virginia

 Barry Allen   in Baseball

(Caleb Jones/Tennessee Athletics)

Jeff Michaels went two seasons without seeing his son play college baseball while he battled pancreatic cancer.

On Sunday, he spent Father’s Day at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha watching his son, Logan, and the Virginia Cavaliers play in the College World Series. 

It’s a Father’s Day, the Michaels’ family will likely never forget.

Logan Michaels belted his first home run of the season in his first CWS at-bat, leading the Cavaliers to a 6-0 win over No. 3 national seed Tennessee.

The UVa catcher finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs to lead the Cavaliers offense. 

In addition to his third-inning homer, Michaels kick-started a four-run seventh inning that put the game out of reach. 

Michaels stroked a leadoff single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. The Cavaliers followed with four straight hits to stretch the lead to 5-0.

Michaels singled and scored the final run in the ninth inning. 

Virginia, came out aggressive and attacked the fastball, and finished the game with the 13 hits. 

Zack Gelof also had three hits, including an RBI double. Chris Newell and Max Cotier added two hits each.

Virginia starter Andrew Abbott dominated the Tennessee lineup making some big pitches in critical spots. 

Tennessee put the first two batters on base in the first inning when Liam Spence walked and Max Ferguson singled to right to put runners on the corners with no outs. 

Abbott retired the next three batters to wriggle out of first inning trouble. 

He pulled the Houdini act again in the fifth inning and sixth innings. He also got two sparkling defensive gems from Cotier and shortstop Nic Kent in the fifth inning.

Abbott (9-6) held the Vols to five hits through six scoreless innings for the win. He struck out 10 and walked two. 

Matt Wyatt collected his first save with three scoreless innings in relief. He added three strikeouts.

UT starter Chad Dallas (11-2) allowed four runs and eight hits in six-plus innings in the Vols first loss in the NCAA Tournament. The Vol righty kept his pitch count down throughout the day, but his teammates couldn't provide support.

Tennessee, who had hit 16 home runs in the NCAA Tournament, was shutout for the third time this season and managed only six singles on Sunday. 

The Vols were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base.

Tennessee will play the Mississippi State-Texas loser on Tuesday at 2 p.m. (ET). Virginia will face the winner at 7 p.m. (ET).