April 9, 1998
THE SLATE: Virginia (19-14-1 overall, 4-10 ACC) returns to the road for a three-game series at Maryland from Apr. 10-12. The Cavaliers and the Terrapins will play at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Following the series with the Terrapins, UVa returns to Charlottesville to take on Richmond at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Apr. 14. The Cavaliers will then play at Virginia Tech at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Apr. 15, and at William & Mary on Thursday, Apr. 16, at 3:00 p.m.
THE SERIES WITH THE TERRAPINS: Maryland and Virginia have played 136 times prior to this weekend, with the Terrapins leading the all-time series 68-67-1. Since Dennis Womack took over as head coach at UVa in 1981, Virginia stands 25-19 against Maryland, including victories in five of the six meetings over the last two years. Since 1991, the home team has a mark of 12-4 in the series, but the Cavaliers won 2-of-3 games the last time they visited College Park in 1996.
ON THE MOUND: Junior lefthander Javier Lopez (4-1, 6.48 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for the Cavaliers against Maryland in the first game of this weekend’s series on Apr. 10. Sophomore righthander Kevin Shrout (4-3, 3.79 ERA) is the probable starter against the Terrapins in the second game on Apr. 11. In the final game of the series on Apr. 12, sophomore righthander Casey Kennedy (4-3, 5.13 ERA) is scheduled to start for UVa.
ANDERSON RUNS HITTING STREAK TO 17 GAMES: Senior outfielder E.J. Anderson has been one of the Cavaliers’ top power hitters throughout his career, but he has also proved to be a tough out over the last few weeks. He is currently on a 17-game hitting streak, the longest of his career, which began in the final game of the Duke series on Mar. 15. During that time he has gone 23-for-68 (.328) with seven homers and 21 RBI, including a solo homer in the sixth inning of Wednesday’s game with Virginia Tech which broke a 3-3 tie and led the Cavaliers to victory. For the season, Anderson is now batting .266 with eight homers and 28 RBI. Anderson’s hitting streak is the longest by a UVa player since 1987, when Mike Lindner hit in 18 consecutive games. Prior to that, David Guy had a 19-game hitting streak during the 1986 season. The longest hitting streak in school history belongs to Bill Narleski, who hit safely in 36 straight games (including the final 16 games of 1985 and the first 20 games on 1986).
SHERLOCK STAYS HOT: Senior third baseman Brian Sherlock, who is one of the main reasons for the Cavaliers’ success this season, has improved his batting average to .398 with some excellent performances over the last few weeks. During last weekend’s three-game series with Clemson he went 6-for-15 with a double, a homer, three runs scored and three runs batted in. Over the last 15 games, he has now gone 26-for-60 with nine doubles, three homers and 18 RBI. In addition to his .398 average on the year, Sherlock leads the team in RBI with 40 and in doubles with 15. Sherlock is also tied for the team lead in homers with eight, while carrying an impressive .748 slugging percentage into the week, a mark which also leads the club. In addition, he has drawn 28 walks on the year, giving him the best on-base percentage on the squad at .497.
IRONMAN GILLELAND PLAYS IN 200TH GAME: Senior Ryan Gilleland, now in his fourth season as a starting infielder for the Cavaliers, played his 200th game in a UVa uniform against Virginia Tech on Wednesday. By playing in his 200th game, Gilleland became only the second player in school history to reach that mark. The only other player in school history to have played in 200 games is Adam Robinson, who took part in 219 contests from 1994-97. If Gilleland plays in every game the rest of the season (barring any rain outs), he would break Robinson’s record during the Florida State series.
CAVALIERS ON TELEVISION: Virginia will be making its first live television appearance of the season during Sunday’s game at Maryland. The contest will be carried by Home Team Sports, Fox Sports South and the Sunshine Network. The Cavaliers made three live television appearances last season, posting a record of 1-2 in those games. The Cavaliers one victory on the airwaves came at Wake Forest on Apr. 6, 1997. Virginia also lost a pair of televised games at Florida State on Mar. 7 and 9, 1997.
ANDERSON BREAKS CAREER HOME RECORD: Senior outfielder E.J. Anderson broke the all-time UVa record for career home runs during the first game of the Clemson series. Anderson hit a three-run homer to right center in the seventh to tie up the game at 7-7, giving him a total of 34 round trippers for his four-year career. He added another homer in Wednesday’s victory over Virginia Tech, bringing his career total to 35. Prior to this season Mike Lindner held the all-time school record, as he hit 33 homers from 1987-90. During Anderson’s four years as a Cavalier, he hit one homer in 1995, 14 in 1996, 12 in 1997 and eight so far this season.
GILLELAND KEEPS DRIVING IN RUNS: Senior second baseman Ryan Gilleland, who has been a top run producer for the Cavaliers throughout his UVa career, is having another excellent season. Gilleland has the second best average among Virginia’s regulars at .324, while ranking second on the team in runs batted in (31) and fourth in home runs (six). During his four year career, Gilleland now has a total of 154 RBI to rank third all-time at UVa. He needs to drive in 13 more runs this season to become the all-time school leader, a mark which is currently held by Bill Narleski (166 RBI / 1984-87).
DOUBLING UP: Through 34 games this season, the Cavaliers have totaled 74 doubles, for an average of 2.18 per game. Leading the way is Brian Sherlock with 15 doubles, while Josh Bowling is not far behind with 13. Both players have a chance to break the school single season record of 19, which was set by Ryan Gilleland last season. Gilleland, who has nine doubles so far this year, is also closing in on the UVa career record of 52 doubles, set by Bill Narleski from 1984-87. Gilleland currently ranks third in doubles with 47, while Sherlock is not far behind as he ranks sixth with 44 career doubles. If Bowling, Gilleland, Sherlock and company keep hitting doubles at their current rate, the Cavaliers could break the school single season team record for doubles, which is currently held by the 1985 squad with 125.
LAST YEAR’S GAMES WITH MARYLAND: Virginia swept a three-game series from Maryland in Charlottesville last year to on the final weekend of the regular season. The Cavaliers easily won the opener 11-1, then came from behind to win 5-4 in extra innings in the second game. Virginia completed its only ACC series sweep of the 1997 season by posting a 15-6 victory in the finale.
VIRGINIA KEEPS HITTING THE LONG BALL: The home run has been a key part of the Virginia offense over the last few games. The Cavaliers have homered 11 times in the last six games to raise their season total for homers to 43. At its present pace, Virginia has a chance to break the school record for most home runs in a single season. That mark is currently held by the 1988 squad, which hit 67 long balls.
KEIPER SHUTS DOWN TECH: Freshman righthander Tommy Keiper improved his record to 3-0 on the season in Wednesday’s victory over Virginia Tech. Keiper came out of the bullpen to throw 3-1/3 innings of scoreless relief, while allowing only one hit. This came against a Hokie squad which entered the game with a team batting average of .312. For the season, Keiper has now pitched 21-2/3 innings in 10 appearances. In addition to his 3-0 record, he has a 4.98 ERA and 15 strikeouts.
CAVALIERS ON THE THE AIR: WINA / 1070 AM, the Home of the Hoos, will carry four Virginia baseball games on radio this season. Former UVa lefthanded pitcher Robby Robinson will handle the play-by-play, while Rob Shaffer will provide color commentary. WINA’s first scheduled broadcast comes on Saturday, Apr. 18, when it will carry the second game of the doubleheader with St. John’s. The other games which will be carried are the Apr. 22 game against Virginia Tech in Salem, Va., the Apr. 25 contest with Wake Forest and the May. 9 game against Florida State.
CAVALIERS KNOCK OFF VIRGINIA TECH: Virginia used a pair of home runs to provide all the offense it would need in a 4-3 victory over Virginia Tech on Wednesday. Ryan Gilleland hit a three-run homer in the first inning to give the Cavaliers an early 3-0 lead, then after the Hokies battled back to tie up the game at 3-3, E.J. Anderson hit a solo homer to conclude the scoring. Tommy Keiper picked up the victory in relief, throwing 3-1/3 scoreless innings while allowing only one hit.
VIRGINIA LOSES HEARTBREAKER TO GEORGE MASON: The Cavaliers suffered a tough loss at George Mason on Wednesday, as the Patriots scored three runs on an error in the bottom of the ninth inning to come from behind for a 9-8 victory. Luis Giraldo, Brian Sherlock, E.J. Anderson, Ryan Gilleland and Javier Lopez all had two hits for Virginia, with Gilleland and Josh Bowling both driving in two runs. Brandon Creswell pitched well for the Cavaliers but did not receive a decision, allowing four runs on six hits in seven innings.
CAVALIERS DROP TWO OF THREE TO CLEMSON: Virginia played seventh-ranked Clemson close in every game, but was able to come away with only one victory in its three-game series last weekend. In the opener, E.J. Anderson hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 7-7, before the Tigers scored two unearned runs in the top of the ninth to post a 9-7 victory. The Cavaliers came back to win the second game 7-6, as Tim LaVigne hit a two-run homer to tie up the game in the eighth inning before Jon Kemmerer drove in the winning run with an RBI single. Clemson won the final game 15-6, scoring eight runs in the top of the eighth after the game was tightly contested for seven innings.
OUCH, THAT HURTS: Through 34 games this year, sophomore shortstop Tim LaVigne has already broken the school record for most times being hit-by-pitch in a season. LaVigne has been hit 13 times this season, accounting for nearly half of the times a Cavalier batter has been hit all year (29). He broke the UVa single season record of 12, set by Terry Dan in 1972. If he keeps getting hit at his current rate, LaVigne might even break the UVa career record of 20, set by Justin Counts from 1993-96.
RUEFFERT STEPPING UP: Freshman catcher Mark Rueffert, who has been a given as chance to start over the last few weeks, has developed into one of the top hitters on the club. Over his last 11 games, since Mar. 17, Rueffert has gone 15-for-31 (.484) with four doubles, a homer, seven runs scored and nine RBI. In the victory over Clemson, he had three of the Cavaliers’ 12 hits, including a double and a run scored. For the season, he now has the highest batting average on the team at .410 (16-for-39).
KEMMERER COMES ON STRONG: Senior outfielder Jon Kemmerer has taken over as the No. 2 hitter in the UVa batting order over the last few weeks and has responded with some outstanding performances at the plate. Kemmerer, who has started in left field, center field and at designated hitter, has gone 19-for-57 over the Cavaliers’ last 16 games with 13 runs scored, 11 RBI and five stolen bases. Kemmerer’s biggest hit during that time came in the second game of the Clemson series, when he lined a single to center field to drive home the winning run in the eighth inning. He also had a big day at Richmond, as he went 4-for-6 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Prior to Mar. 17, Kemmerer had only 11 hits and three RBI in his entire UVa career.
UVA OFFENSE BREAKS OUT AGAINST UNC: In the second game of the series with North Carolina, the Cavaliers exploded for 18 runs. With that total, Virginia scored its most runs in an Atlantic Coast Conference game in almost eight years. The last time Virginia scored 18 or more runs against an ACC foe came on Apr. 28, 1990, when the Cavaliers defeated Maryland 29-10. UVa also scored 12 runs in the final game of the North Carolina series, marking the first time since Apr. 2-3, 1993 that the Cavaliers scored in double figures in back-to-back conference games (Virginia defeated Wake Forest 11-10 and 13-9). In addition, the 30 runs the Cavaliers totaled in the final two games against the Tar Heels are the most by Virginia in back-to-back ACC games since Apr. 27-28, 1990 (UVa downed Maryland 21-19 and 29-10 for a total of 50 runs over two games).
PLAYING BIG IN THE ACC: Four Cavaliers are batting over .300 against ACC opponents so far this season. Brian Sherlock leads the way with a .382 average in conference games, along with nine doubles, a homer and 17 RBI. Tim LaVigne, who is batting only .242 overall, has a .326 average against ACC foes with two triples, two homers and seven RBI. The other Virginia players who are batting over .300 in conference games this season are Julian Gonzalez (.313, four doubles, two homers, 10 RBI) and Josh Bowling (.313, three doubles, three homers, 12 RBI).
HEAD COACH DENNIS WOMACK: UVa head coach Dennis Womack, who is in his 18th season with the Cavaliers, has a career record of 459-439-6. 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 ’96 season ranked No. 14 in the nation by Baseball America, their highest ever national-ranking. Womack picked up the 450th victory of his career on Mar. 4, 1998, when the Cavaliers posted an 18-4 victory over William & Mary.
SCHEDULE CHANGES: Please note that the game at Radford, scheduled for Mar. 3, was postponed due to the weather. The game will be made up on Monday, Apr. 20, at 3:00 p.m. The third game at Georgia Tech, scheduled for Mar. 8, has been cancelled. Those are currently the only changes to the schedule listed in the Virginia baseball media guide.