Baseball Heads South to Winn-Dixie Shootout
February 10, 1999
Joseph P. Riley Jr. ParkCharleston, S.C.Feb. 12-14, 1999
Cavaliers head for Charleston well rested: Virginia will return to the baseball field this weekend after an 11-day layoff. The Cavaliers will compete in the Winn-Dixie Shootout, hosted by The Citadel at Charleston’s Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park. UVa will face the host Bulldogs Friday, East Carolina Saturday and Virginia Commonwealth Sunday. North Carolina and North Carolina State will also be taking part in the six-team tournament.
The Citadel – Friday, 5 p.m.
1998 Record: 37-24
1998 Final Rankings: none
Head Coach (Record at Citadel): Fred Jordan (245-171; seven seasons)
East Carolina – Saturday, 10 a.m.
1998 Final Rankings: none
Head Coach (Record at ECU):
Virginia Commonwealth – Sunday, 10 a.m.
1998 Final Rankings:
Head Coach (Record at VCU):
VCU-UVa Series: UVa, 22-11
Last Meeting: 1998, W 11-7 in Richmond
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.
Floyd out for three to four: Freshman center fielder Mike Floyd caught a bad break in the third inning of the game against Auburn. The Severna Park, Md., native, who had already made one dazzling, diving catch in center the day before against Jacksonville, dove for a ball in the gap against the Tigers. Not only was not able to come up with another spectacular catch, he fractured two bones in his left hand (catching hand). Floyd is expected to be out three to four weeks due to the injury.
Benick makes his mark in first weekend: Sophomore catcher/first baseman Jonathan Benick has already made an impact on the Cavalier lineup. Hitting in the cleanup spot two weeks ago at the ACC/Disney Blast, Benick hit safely in all three games and was 5-for-13 (.385) on the weekend. His most impressive game was in the Sunday game against Oklahoma, going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and a career-high five RBI. It was his three-run double in the third inning that broke the game open and propelled the Cavaliers to a 12-4 victory over the then-No. 24 Sooners. Benick has played first base, caught and hit as the designated hitter in the three games thus far. He is expected to see a similar rotation this weekend.
Kennedy saddled with tough-luck loss: Junior right hander Casey Kennedy pitched well in the season opener for the Cavaliers; however, a more-stifling performance by Jacksonville’s Nick Regillio spoiled any chance for Kennedy to grab a victory. The native of Boca Raton, Fla., lasted just four and two-thirds innings, but allowed only two earned runs on four hits with a pair of strike outs in that time. He left the game with UVa trailing 3-1. Regillio, who picked up the win for the Dolphins, went the necessary five inning and allowed just one run on two hits and a walk with three strike outs. Patrick Gambale and Josh Khoury continued to keep the Cavalier bats in check, allowing one unearned run on one hit and a couple of walks with four strike outs the rest of the way. Meanwhile, the Cavalier bullpen could not keep the game close as JU exploded for 10 runs in the final three frames.
Youngsters looking sharp at the plate: Several freshmen and sophomores are making strong statements to head coach Dennis Womack in the early season about starting jobs. Two in particular, freshmen outfielders Ryan Kalamaya and Shawn McCleary, have made the biggest impression. The two are atop the leader board on the team in batting average and are tied for second on the team in hits with three apiece. McCleary, a native of Dover, Pa., is hitting .500 on the young campaign and is second on the team with three RBI. Kalamaya, who hails from Longmont, Colo., is hitting .429 with a run scored and one RBI. He looks to be the man to fill the shoes of injured center fielder Mike Floyd, another true freshman, who will miss three to four weeks.
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. His nine saves ranks second all-time at UVa, just four shy of Todd Ruyak’s 13 amassed from 1989 through 1992.
Player Sv Seasons1. Todd Ruyak 13 1989-922. Tim LaVigne 9 1997-983. 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.
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.
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.
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.
1 Robbie Marvin 2B .250, 0, 0 16 Tim LaVigne SS .182, 0, 0 34 David Stone LF .231, 0, 1 9 Jonathan Benick 1B .385, 0, 5 13 Mark Rueffert C .111, 0, 0 8 Ryan Kalamaya CF .429, 0, 1 5 Josh Bowling DH .143, 0, 0 21 Julian Gonzalez RF .167, 0, 0 17 Luis Giraldo 3B .286, 0, 1
11 Brandon Creswell LHP (So., 5-9, 160) 0-0, 23.63 ERA
29 Greg Withelder LHP (So., 6-3, 185) 1-0, 1.80 ERA
25 Casey Kennedy RHP (Jr., 6-1, 190) 0-1, 3.86 ERA
Baseball Weekly/ESPN ABCA Top 25 Poll
1999 Preseason poll
Team (1st place votes) Record Pts. LW 1. Southern Cal (26) 49-17 964 1 2. Miami, Fla. (4) 51-12 885 5 3. Louisiana State (3) 48-19 844 3 4. Wichita State (3) 56-7 827 14 5. Florida State (1) 53-20 783 8 6. Stanford 42-14-1 732 10 7. Georgia Tech (2) 41-22 713 20 8. Florida 46-18 708 7 9. Long Beach State 43-23-1 661 410. Rice (1) 46-17 648 1511. Alabama 46-18 611 912. Cal State-Fullerton 47-17 537 1213. Auburn 46-18 534 1314. Texas A&M (1) 46-20 491 1115. Arizona State 41-23 471 216. Clemson 43-16 349 1917. South Carolina 44-18 295 1818. Mississippi State 42-23 269 619. Arkansas 38-21 248 -20. Texas Tech 44-20 210 2321. Washington 41-17 189 1722. UCLA 24-33 145 -23. Wake Forest 43-23 133 -24. Oklahoma State 40-21 132 -25. North Carolina 42-23 128 24
RECEIVING VOTES: Baylor (125), Oklahoma (117), Arizona (75), South Alabama (70), Tulane (64), California (56), Illinois (40), Texas (39), Minnesota (38), Notre Dame (36), Ball State (26), Central Florida (25), Ohio State (18), Missouri (17), Houston (16), North Carolina State (14), UNC-Greensboro (10), Nevada (3), Pepperdine (3), Rutgers (2), Virginia Commonwealth (2), Michigan (2), Fresno State (2), St. John’s (1), Kentucky (1), Oregon State (1).
Multiple-Hit Games (1998)
No. Player (Hits) Date Opponent 1 Jonathan Benick (3) 1-31 vs. Oklahoma 2 Luis Giraldo (2) 1-31 vs. Oklahoma 3 Ryan Kalamaya (2) 1-31 vs. Oklahoma 4 Robbie Marvin (2) 1-31 vs. Oklahoma
HEAD COACH DENNIS WOMACK: UVa head coach Dennis Womack enters his 19th season with the Cavaliers and has posted a career record of 468-451-6. In 1996, he led Virginia to a school-record 44 victories, its first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Championship and its third appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Cavaliers also finished the 1996 season ranked No. 14 in the nation by Baseball America, their highest national ranking ever. Womack picked up the 450th victory of his career on March 4, 1998, when the Cavaliers captured an 18-4 win over 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 (2b) – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville (bottom 7)
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)
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
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)
No. Player (RBI) Date Opponent 1 Jonathan Benick (5) 1-31 vs. Oklahoma 2 Shawn McCleary (2) 1-31 vs. Oklahoma
1999 Big Innings
First: 1 – Jan. 30 vs. Auburn; Jan. 31 vs. Oklahoma
Second: 1 – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville
Third: 6 – Jan. 31 vs. Oklahoma
Fourth: 5 – Jan. 31 vs. Oklahoma
Seventh: 1 – Jan. 30 vs. Auburn
Ninth: 1 – Jan. 29 vs. Jacksonville
First: 2 – Auburn, Jan. 30; Oklahoma, Jan. 31
Fourth: 1 – Jacksonville, Jan. 29
Fifth: 2 – Jacksonville, Jan. 29
Sixth: 7 – Auburn, Jan. 30
Seventh: 3 – Jacksonville, Jan. 29
Eighth: 5 – Jacksonville, Jan. 29
Ninth: 2 – Jacksonville, Jan. 29