Baseball Gets Set to Battle Radford
March 3, 1999
Virginia vs. Radford
University of Virginia Baseball FieldCharlottesville, Va.March 4, 1999
Highlanders come to town for single game: Radford will visit the University of Virginia today for a 3 p.m. contest with the Cavaliers. This will be the final midweek home game for UVa until a March 24 outing against George Mason. This will be the 12th meeting between the two schools. Virginia holds an 8-2-1 advantage in the series, which began in 1988. The Cavaliers have won the last six meetings, dating back to a 16-11 Highlander victory in Radford. Virginia is 4-1-1 against Radford in Charlottesville with the only loss coming in 1990 (11-9). The Cavaliers won last season’s only meeting, 14-3 at Radford.
William & Mary
1999 Record: 1-5
1998 Record: 17-35
1999 Rankings: none
Head Coach (Record at Radford): Lew Kent (94-122; fifth season)
Radford-UVa Series: UVa leads 8-2-1
Last Meeting: UVa, 14-3 in Radford (1998)
Bats wake up against Tribe, but Cavs still fall: The University of Virginia dropped its fifth consecutive game here Tuesday, falling 8-5 to William & Mary. William & Mary jumped out to a 5-0 lead thanks to a solo home run by Ben Swatsky in the second and a four-spot in the third. However, the Cavaliers battled back into the game with two runs in the fifth and another in the sixth. The Tribe pushed its lead to 7-3 with two runs in the seventh, answered by a Virginia run in the bottom of the inning. Another Tribe run in the eighth made the score 8-4. Virginia managed a run in the bottom of the inning, but it was not enough. UVa pounded 11 hits, reaching the 10-hit plateau for only the third time this season and for the first time since slapping 11 Feb. 20 against Penn State in the first game of a doubleheader. It was also just the fourth time the Cavaliers have scored more than four runs in a game. This was the first William & Mary victory against Virginia since the 1993 season, putting an end to a six-game Cavalier winning streak.
Gonzalez has a career day: Despite losing to William & Mary, their was some good news for the Cavaliers – the awakening of the bat of right fielder Julian Gonzalez. After starting the season 1-for-16 (.063) with just a double in the second game of the year, the senior went 4-for-4 with two doubles and a two runs scored against the Tribe. Gonzalez set career highs for hits, doubles and total bases (six). He was also hit by a pitch, thus reaching base safely in all five trips to the plate on the afternoon. The four-hit performance was the first such game of the year for the Cavaliers and the first since Brian Sherlock collected four hits in a game April 20, 1998 against Radford. Last season, UVa batters collected four or more hits in a game seven times.
Finally … a dinger: Jonathan Benick belted a chest-high fastball over the rightfield wall in the fifth inning against William & Mary for the first UVa homer of the season and the first of his career in a Cavalier uniform. Last season, Virginia got its first home run of the campaign in the second game of the year – Feb. 14 against South Alabama when Javier Lopez hit a solo shot. Brian Sherlock then followed with a solo homer of his own for the second Cavalier homer of the year. Through 13 games last season, Virginia had hit 18 home runs. Lopez led the way with seven.
LaVigne establishes school record: Junior shortstop Tim LaVigne was plunked on the left arm in the seventh inning Tuesday against William & Mary. That gave him four on the season (tops on the team) and 21 on his career, breaking the previous school mark of 20 set by Justin Counts from 1993 to 1996. LaVigne established the school record for times being hit by a pitch with 17 last season.
Floyd set to return; McCleary on the shelf: One freshman in, one freshman out. Center fielder Mike Floyd, who broke two bones in his left (non-throwing) hand in the second game of the year, came out of the cast last week and rejoined the team in uniform last weekend. He sustained the injury Jan. 30 while diving for a ball against Auburn. Floyd’s return to the lineup is still questionable at this point as coaches and trainer Ed Kane are monitoring his progress. However, he is expected to see action again within the next two weeks. Meanwhile, out fielder Shawn McCleary will be out two-to-three weeks with mononucleosis. McCleary, who opened his career on a hot streak, has gone hitless in his last 21 at bats since singling in the fifth inning Feb. 13 against East Carolina.
Scoring woes continue for Cavs: UVa was shutout for the second consecutive game and the third time this season last Saturday by Seton Hall. With only 42 runs in 13 games, the Cavaliers rank last in the ACC in runs scored per game (3.2). Twenty-eight of the Cavaliers runs have come in four games. In the other nine games, the Wahoos are scoring a paltry 1.6 plate-crossings per contest. On top of that, UVa has scored in just 23 of 112 innings this season (20.5 percent). Only seven times have the Cavs scored more than one run in an inning. Against William & Mary, the Wahoos scored in four different innings for just the second time this year.
Kennedy experiencing bad luck: Junior right-handed pitcher Casey Kennedy may be the most unlucky pitcher in the nation. Despite a by-college-baseball-means microscopic 3.86 ERA, the Boca Raton, Fla., native is 0-3 on the season. Wednesday may have been the low-point of his luck as a Cavalier. Kennedy went seven innings and allowed just one run on three hits with no walks and a season-high six strike outs. He even had a chance to avoid allowing any runs when a sacrafice bunt with runners at first and second and no out trickled right to him on the mound. However, he struggled to get the ball out of his glove and had to settle for the sure out at first. In his three starts, the Cavaliers have scored a total of four runs.
LaVigne working on saves mark: Junior closer Tim LaVigne is creeping toward the school record for saves. After notching three as a freshman in 1997, LaVigne led the squad for a second consecutive season with six last year. He added another save in the first game of a doubleheader against Penn State. His 10 saves ranks second all-time at UVa, just three shy of Todd Ruyak’s 13 amassed from 1989 through 1992.
Player Sv Seasons 1. Todd Ruyak 13 1989-92 2. Tim LaVigne 10 1997-99 3. Greg Haden 8 1976-79
Should LaVigne lead the team in saves again this season, he would be the first Cavalier to top the team in that category for three consecutive seasons since Ruyak in 1990, 1991 and 1992. No other UVa player has ever accomplished that feat.Pitching staff racking up the whiffs: Through 13 games this season, the Cavaliers have struck out 110 batters – an average of 8.76 per nine innings and 38 more than opposing pitchers. Sophomore Greg Withelder leads the team with 28 in 21 and two-thirds innings (11.6 per nine innings). Sophomore Southpaw Brandon Creswell is second on the staff with 27 strike outs in 24 and one-third innings (9.98 per nine innings) and junior Kevin Shrout ranks third with 19 in 18 and two-thirds innings (9.2 per nine innings). Reliever Jon Metzger leads the team in strike outs per nine innings with 15.9; however, he has only thrown five and two-thirds innings with nine strike outs.
Cavs slow out of the blocks: Part of the Cavaliers’ problems in scoring runs this season (3.4 per nine innings) has been their inability to get the leadoff batter on board. In 112 innings, UVa’s leadoff batter has reached safely just 26 times (23.2 percent). Meanwhile, opponents have put their leadoff batter on the paths in 53 of 113 innings (46.9 percent).
Withelder, Shrout establish personal bests: Two weeks ago, in the weekend of strike outs for the UVa pitching staff, two hurler established personal bests. Despite taking the loss in Sunday’s series finale, Greg Withelder had a career-high nine strike outs. It was the second time this season he has eclipsed his career best. Kevin Shrout posted a career-high 12 strike outs in the series opener against the Nittany Lions. He amassed the dozen whiffs in just five and two-thirds innings of work – also a career best for strike outs per nine innings in a game.
Benick’s hitting streak snapped: Penn State held sophomore first baseman/catcher Jonathan Benick hitless Sunday in four at bats. It marked the first time this season he had not collected at least one hit in a game. The eight-game hitting streak is a career-best, topping a modest four-game run he had last season at Auburn. During the streak, Benick hit .500 (15-for-30) with three doubles and nine RBI. Benick currently leads the team with a .441 average and nine RBI.
Creswell named ACC Co-Pitcher of the Week: Sophomore lefty Brandon Creswell was named co-pitcher of the week in the Atlantic Coast Conference for the week ending Feb. 14. The Southpaw struck out a career-high 11 batters in UVa’s 5-1 victory over The Citadel on its home field Friday night in first-day action of the Winn-Dixie Shootout. Creswell tossed the second complete game of his career and scattered six hits with only one walk. He held the Bulldogs scoreless for seven innings before giving up a scratch run in the eighth. Creswell struck out five batters in the final three innings to nail down his career high and the victory.
Benick named to all-Shootout Team: Creswell’s chances at all-Shootout honors were squelched when East Carolina’s Foye Minton hurled a no-hitter against North Carolina State in Game 8 Feb. 14. However, sophomore Jonathan Benick did display enough gusto on the weekend tobe named to the team. After blasting an RBI double off the right-center wall against The Citadel, Benick went on to hit .545 (6-for-11) on the weekend. With a hit in all three games, the first baseman/catcher has hit safely in every game this season. Benick is in his first season at Virginia after transferring from Auburn.
Withelder named all-tournament: For his two-run, two-hit performance over five innings of work against then-No. 32 Oklahoma, sophomore lefty Greg Withelder was named to the all-tournament team at the ACC/Disney Blast. The only Cavalier on the 11-man team, Withelder surrendered both runs and both hits in the first inning of Sunday’s game. He then pitched four innings of no-hit, scoreless baseball and picked up the first win of the season for the Cavaliers. Auburn’s Chris Bootcheck joined Withelder as the only pitchers on the team.
Season-opener streak snapped: All good things must come to an end, and for the Virginia baseball team last weekend was the time. For the first time in a decade, the Cavaliers lost their season-opener when the Jacksonville Dolphins downed the Wahoos 13-2 in first-day action of the ACC/Disney Blast. UVa is 8-1-1 in its last 10 season openers, which included a quaint seven-game winning streak and a nine-game non-losing streak prior to this season. In 1991, Virginia and Liberty battled to a 5-5 tie before darkness suspended the game. Ironically, the Cavs also tied their second game that season, again 5-5, this time to Radford. The Wahoos’ last loss in a season opener was a 6-2 defeat by VCU in 1989.
LaVigne, Creswell preseason picks by Collegiate Baseball: Junior shortstop Tim LaVigne and sophomore lefthander Brandon Creswell were named Preseason Players to Watch in the ACC by Collegiate Baseball. LaVigne hit .262 with five home runs and 20 RBI last season to go along with seven steals in seven attempts. He was also 2-4 on the mound with a 5.76 ERA and a team-leading six saves. Creswell was 2-0 with a 3.72 ERA last season as a freshman with a couple of saves. He also struck out 49 batters with only 18 walks in 58 innings of work. Creswell also had a complete game, joining Casey Kennedy, who tossed three, as the only pitchers on the UVa staff with complete games.
Cavs try for four in a row: UVa’s 28-26-1 record last season marked the third consecutive winning tally for the Cavaliers. It was the first time the Wahoos have accomplished this since the 1984-86 seasons. Over this three-year span, Virginia is 104-69-2. The last time the Cavaliers posted four consecutive winning seasons was in the 1978-81 seasons. UVa’s record for consecutive winning marks is 13, set in the 1897-1909 seasons.
ACC coaches tab Cavaliers eighth: UVa was picked to finish eighth this season in the Atlantic Coast Conference in the annual preseason poll of the conference’s head coaches. Georgia Tech is the early favorite after nabbing five of nine first-place votes and 76 total points. Florida State and Wake Forest each received two of the other first-place votes; however, the Seminoles edged the Deacons 71-62 in total points to place second. North Carolina was picked fourth, followed by Clemson, Duke and North Carolina State. Maryland finished behind UVa in ninth.
UVa baseball on the air waves: WINA/1070 AM, the Home of the Hoos, will carry 15 games this season. Former UVa left-handed pitcher Robby Robinson and baseball media relations director Larry Little will be on the call. Virginia’s radio season will get under way in late March with most of the broadcasts coming on the weekends. The Cavaliers went 2-2 in games broadcast by WINA during the 1998 season.
Cavaliers on the Net: Up-to-date information on the University of Virginia baseball team is now available on the internet at http://www.virginiasports.com. The site includes the Cavaliers’ roster, schedule, results, player profiles, statistics, releases, game stories and historical information. Game stories will be updated on a timely basis following the completion of each contest. Updated statistics will be posted each Monday during the season.
22 Ryan Kalamaya CF .286, 0, 1 34 David Stone RF .245, 0, 2 9 Jonathan Benick 1B .367, 1, 13 13 Mark Rueffert C .294, 0, 4 16 Tim LaVigne SS .200, 0, 4 17 Luis Giraldo 3B .152, 0, 2 21 Luis Gonzalez LF .250, 0, 0 5 Josh Bowling DH .188, 0, 1or 6 Dan Street DH .136, 0, 0 1 Robbie Marvin 2B .130, 0, 0
25 Casey Kennedy RHP (Jr., 6-1, 190) 0-3, 3.86 ERA
Baseball Weekly/ESPN ABCA Top 25 Poll
(as of Feb. 15)
Team (1st place votes) Rec. Pts. LW 1. Florida State (37) 9-0 994 5 2. Miami, Fla. (4) 5-3 827 2 3. Auburn 7-0 814 13 4. Rice 9-2 803 10 5. Wichita State 3-1 720 4 6. Stanford 6-3 675 6 7. Arizona (1) 13-1 644 - 8. Texas 7-2 640 - 9. Louisiana State 1-2 640 310. Arizona State 13-4 562 1511. Southern Cal 3-5 552 1 12. Florida 2-2 543 813. Clemson 3-0 468 1614. Long Beach State 3-3 429 915. Cal State-Fullerton 4-3 362 1216. Texas A&M 4-2 358 1417. Texas Tech 6-2 313 2018. Georgia Tech 4-4 307 719. South Carolina 4-0 285 1720. Pepperdine 8-0 276 NR21. Mississippi State 2-0 239 1822. Alabama 1-2 228 1123. North Carolina 3-0 198 2524. Washington 3-0 194 2154. Oklahoma State 3-0 155 24
RECEIVING VOTES: Houston (123), Florida International (98), Hawaii (95), Oklahoma (93), Wake Forest (78), Arkansas (39), Florida Atlantic (36), Illinois (34), Notre Dame (24), Ball State (23), UCLA (18), Jacksonville (17), North Carolina State (17), Southwest Louisiana (16), Ohio State (15), Baylor (15), Missouri (13), NC-Greensboro (10), Minnesota (10), Central Florida (8), California (8), Tennessee (3), Nevada (2), Oregon State (2), Rutgers (2), Washington State (1), East Carolina (1), St. John’s (1).
Did you know?: After not being shutout at all during the past two seasons, Virginia has been shutout three times this season – the most times a Cavalier team has been blanked since the 1996 team was shutout three times. … Five UVa regulars are not hitting their weight – Josh Bowling, Luis Giraldo, Robbie Marvin, Shawn McCleary and Dan Street. … Brandon Creswell’s complete game Feb. 12 at The Citadel is the only time this season a Cavalier starter has worked past the seventh inning. … Kevin Shrout has at least one strike out in 21 of 22 appearances since the beginning of the 1998 season and in 29 of 35 appearances during his career.
* Mark Rueffert – .313 (5-for-16), 2 2B, RBI in last five games
* David Stone – .385 (5-for-13), 2B, 3B, RBI in last three games
* Jon Metzger – 1.80 ERA, 9 K, 3 H in last four outings (5 IP)
* Shawn McCleary – hitless in last 21 at bats
* Robbie Marvin – one hit in last 26 at bats
* Cavalier bats – .171 (27-for-158), 8 R in last five games (0-5)
No. Player (Hits) Date Opponent (game) 1 Jonathan Benick (3) 1-31 vs. Oklahoma 2 Shawn McCleary (3) 1-31 vs. Oklahoma 3 Luis Giraldo (2) 1-31 vs. Oklahoma 4 Ryan Kalamaya (2) 1-31 vs. Oklahoma 5 Robbie Marvin (2) 1-31 vs. Oklahoma 6 Jonathan Benick (3) 2-12 at The Citadel 7 Ryan Kalamaya (2) 2-12 at The Citadel 8 Jonathan Benick (2) 2-14 vs. VCU 9 Josh Bowling (2) 2-14 vs. VCU10 Tim LaVigne (3) 2-20 Penn State (1)11 Jonathan Benick (2) 2-20 Penn State (1)12 Mark Rueffert (2) 2-20 Penn State (1)13 David Stone (2) 2-20 Penn State (1)14 Jonathan Benick (2) 2-20 Penn State (2)15 Ryan Kalamaya (2) 2-20 Penn State (2)16 Mark Rueffert (2) 2-20 Penn State (2)17 Tim LaVigne (2) 2-21 Penn State18 Mark Rueffert (2) 2-27 Seton Hall (1)19 David Stone (2) 2-27 Seton Hall (2)20 Julian Gonzalez (4) 3-2 William & Mary21 Jonathan Benick (2) 3-2 William & Mary22 David Stone (2) 3-2 William & Mary
1999 ‘Hoo Honors
Winn-Dixie All-Shootout Team – Feb. 14
Preseason ACC Player to Watch – Collegiate BaseballACC Co-Pitcher of the Week – Feb. 15
Preseason ACC Player to Watch – Collegiate Baseball
ACC/Disney Blast All-Tournament Team – Jan. 31
No. Player (RBI) Date Opponent (game) 1 Jonathan Benick (5) 1-31 vs. Oklahoma 2 Shawn McCleary (2) 1-31 vs. Oklahoma 3 Jonathan Benick (2) 2-20 Penn State (1) 4 Mark Rueffert (2) 2-20 Penn State (1) 5 Jonathan Benick (3) 3-2 William & Mary
1999 Cavalier Firsts
At bat: Robbie Marvin – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville
Hit: Jonathan Benick – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (bottom 1)
Run: Luis Giraldo – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (bottom 2)
RBI: Mike Floyd – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (bottom 2)
Extra-base hit: Julian Gonzalez (2b) – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (bottom 7)
Double: Julian Gonzalez – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (bottom 7)
Triple: Robbie Marvin – Feb. 14 vs. VCU (top 1)
Home run: Jonathan Benick – March 2 vs. William & Mary (bottom 5)
Base runner: David Stone (walk) – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (bottom 1)
Walk: David Stone – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (bottom 1)
Strike out: David Stone – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (bottom 3)
Hit batsman: Luis Giraldo – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (bottom 2)
Sacrifice bunt: Tim LaVigne – Jan. 14 vs. VCU (top1)
Stolen base attempt: Luis Giraldo – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (bottom 2)
Stolen base: Luis Giraldo – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (bottom 2)
Caught stealing: Robbie Marvin – Jan. 31 vs. Oklahoma (bottom 1)
Win: Greg Withelder – Jan. 31 vs. Oklahoma
Loss: Casey Kennedy – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville
Save: Tim LaVigne – Feb. 20 vs. Penn State (game 1)
Complete game: Brandon Creswell – Feb. 12 at The Citadel
Strike out: Casey Kennedy – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (top 1)
Walk: Casey Kennedy – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (top 4)
Wild pitch: John Metzger – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (top 8)
Hit batsman: Casey Kennedy – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (top 3)
Putout: Jonathan Benick – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville
Assist: Robbie Marvin – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (top 1)
Fielding error: David Stone – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (top 9)
Throwing error: Luis Giraldo – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (top 4)
1999 Big Innings
First: 2 – Feb. 20 vs. Penn St. (game 1); Feb. 27 vs. Seton Hall (game 1)
Second: 1 -on three occasions
Third: 6 – Jan. 31 vs. Oklahoma
Fourth: 5 – Jan. 31 vs. Oklahoma
Fifth: 5 – Feb. 12 at The Citadel
Sixth: 1 – on three occasions
Seventh: 1 – Jan. 30 vs. Auburn; March 2 vs. William & Mary
Eighth: 1 – March 2 vs. William & Mary
Ninth: 1 – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville; Feb. 21 vs. Penn State
First: 2 – on four occasions
Second: 3 – Seton Hall, Feb. 27 (game 1)
Third: 4 – William & Mary, March 2
Fourth: 1 – Jacksonville, Jan. 29; East Carolina, Feb. 13
Fifth: 3 – Penn State, Feb. 21
Sixth: 7 – Auburn, Jan. 30
Seventh: 3 – Jacksonville, Jan. 29
Eighth: 5 – Jacksonville, Jan. 29; Seton Hall, Feb. 27 (game 2)
Ninth: 2 – Jacksonville, Jan. 29
In the pen …
Pitcher App IP ER ERA W-L Opp Sv BS H Pct. PtsTim LaVigne 3 2.2 0 0.00 0-0 1 1 0 1 100.0 2.5Kevin Shrout 1 1.0 0 0.00 0-0 0 0 0 0 00.0 0Bradley Nuckols 1 0.2 0 0.00 0-0 0 0 0 0 00.0 0Jon Metzger 5 5.2 2 3.18 0-0 0 0 0 1 00.0 0.5John Thomas 2 3.0 1 3.00 0-0 0 0 0 0 00.0 0Denny Chapman 4 6.0 5 7.50 0-0 1 1 0 0 100.0 2.0Tommy Keiper 4 9.2 7 6.52 0-0 0 0 0 1 00.0 0.5Mark Hurrie 2 3.0 3 9.00 0-0 0 0 0 0 00.0 0Brandon Creswell 1 2.2 7 23.63 0-0 0 0 0 0 00.0 0Total 23 34.0 24 6.35 0-0 2 2 0 3 100.0 5.5