April 19, 1998
THE SLATE: Virginia (23-18-1 overall, 5-12 ACC) returns to the road this week, as it heads to Radford for a 3:00 p.m. game on Monday, Apr. 20. The Cavaliers will then play host to James Madison in a 3:00 p.m. game on Tuesday, Apr. 21. UVa then heads to Salem to take on Virginia Tech in a neutral site game at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Apr. 22. The Cavaliers will then play host to Wake Forest in a three-game series from Apr. 24-26. UVa will face the Demon Deacons at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.
THE SERIES RECORDS: The Cavaliers have an all-time record of 7-2-1 against Radford, with Virginia winning the last five meetings. The Highlanders last victory in the series came on May 2, 1993, with a 16-11 win at Radford. Against James Madison, Virginia has an all-time mark of 22-17. The Cavaliers have won seven of the last eight meetings, but the Dukes won in Charlottesville last season 11-9. UVa stands 64-65 all-time against Virginia Tech, with the teams splitting their first two meetings this season. Prior to the Hokies victory in Blacksburg last Wednesday, the Cavaliers had won six straight in the series.
TAKING STATE: Once again this season, the Cavaliers have a winning record against in-state opponents. UVa has an 8-4-1 mark this season for in-state games, including victories over James Madison, Richmond, Virginia Tech, VMI, William & Mary (twice) and Liberty (twice). Since the beginning of the 1996 season, Virginia now stands 31-10-1 vs. other schools from within the Commonwealth, including a 13-2 mark in 1996 and a 10-4 record in 1997. UVa has posted a 18-5 mark at home against in-state schools during that time, while going 13-5-1 on the road.
ON THE MOUND: Junior lefthander Javier Lopez (4-3, 7.27 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for the Cavaliers at Radford on Apr. 20. Freshman lefthander Greg Withelder (2-2, 6.23 ERA) will then start against James Madison on Apr. 21. In this weeks third game against Virginia Tech on Apr. 22, freshman lefthander Brandon Creswell (1-0, 3.43 ERA) is the probable starter for UVa.
CRESWELL HAS BIG WEEK ON THE MOUND: Freshman lefthander Brandon Creswell turned in two outstanding performances on the mound for the Cavaliers last week. In Thursdays game at William & Mary, Creswell picked up his first career victory as he allowed only one run on five hits while striking out six in eight innings of work. Two days earlier against Richmond, he earned a save by throwing one scoreless inning and striking out two. For the season, Creswell now stands 1-0 with a 3.43 earned run average, two saves and 37 strikeouts over 42 innings.
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. He has had at least two hits in each of the Cavaliers last three games, going 7-for-12 with two runs scored, three stolen bases and four runs batted in during that time. Kemmerer, who has started in left field, center field and at designated hitter, has now gone 29-for-85 (.341) over the Cavaliers last 24 games with 16 runs scored, 16 runs batted in and 10 stolen bases. Prior to Mar. 17, Kemmerer had only 11 hits and three RBI in his entire UVa career.
LAVIGNE HEATS UP: Sophomore Tim LaVigne turned in some outstanding performances for the Cavaliers last week, both on the mound and at the plate. LaVigne had at least one hit in each of Virginias five games, going 8-for-18 (.444) on the week with four doubles, four runs scored and a stolen base. He also appeared in two games as a relief pitcher, throwing a perfect ninth inning at William & Mary and tossing 1-1/3 scoreless innings with two strikeouts to earn a save in the win over St. Johns. As the Cavaliers starting shortstop, LaVigne is now batting .263 on the season with six doubles, four homers, 16 RBI and four stolen bases. He also has six saves on the mound to go along with a 4.81 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 24-1/3 innings.
SHROUT GETS BACK IN THE GROOVE: Sophomore righthander Kevin Shrout, who has seen action both as a starter and in relief, picked up his first victory in over a month during the win over St. Johns. Shrout tossed 7-2/3 innings against the Red Storm, allowing only one run on four hits while striking out eight. With that victory, Shrout now stands 5-4 on the season with two saves, a 3.81 earned run average and a team-best 71 strikeouts in 54-1/3 innings. During his two year career at Virginia, Shrout has a 3.81 ERA without allowing a home run in 87-1/3 innings.
LOPEZ RETURNING TO FORM: Junior first baseman Javier Lopez has once again become a key part of the batting order for the Cavaliers. Lopez, who had struggled at the plate after missing time with a wrist injury in mid-March, has gone 8-for-18 (.444) over Virginias last five games with two doubles, two runs batted in and three stolen bases. Included in that stretch are two games in which Lopez had three hits (the victories over William & Mary and St. Johns). For the season, Lopez is now batting .314 with seven homers and 24 RBI, while stealing seven bases in 10 attempts.
ANDERSON POSTS SECOND-LONGEST HITTING STREAK IN SCHOOL HISTORY: Senior outfielder E.J. Anderson, who has been one of the Cavaliers top power hitters throughout his career, posted the second-longest hitting streak in school history earlier this season. Anderson had at least one hit in 21 consecutive games, from Mar. 15-Apr. 14. During that time he went 28-for-83 (.337) with four doubles, seven homers and 24 RBI. Overall this year, Anderson is batting .255 with eight homers and 32 RBI. The only player in school history with a longer streak than Anderson is Bill Narleski with a 36-game streak (including the final 16 games of 1985 and the first 20 games on 1986).
SHERLOCK KEEPS GETTING ON: While E.J. Anderson recently had one of the longest hitting streaks in school history at 21 games, Brian Sherlock has quietly built an impressive streak of his own. Sherlock has now reached base via hit or walk in each of the Cavaliers last 23 games. During that 23-game stretch, he has gone 33-for-88 (.375) with 15 walks, 10 doubles, three homers and 25 RBI. Sherlock has drawn 33 walks on the year, giving him a team-best on-base percentage of .471. On the season, he has reached base at least once in all but two games: the loss at Georgia Tech on Mar. 7 and the victory over Coppin State on Mar. 17. Both those games were blowouts, with Sherlock leaving each game after only three plate appearances.
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 on Apr. 3. 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 the victory over Virginia Tech on Apr. 8, 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 Andersons four years as a Cavalier, he hit one homer in 1995, 14 in 1996, 12 in 1997 and eight so far this season.
SHERLOCK STAYS HOT: Senior third baseman Brian Sherlock, who has been one of the top offensive threats for the Cavaliers all year, leads all UVa regulars in batting with a .371 average on the season. He recorded his 18th multi-hit game of the year during the series at Maryland, going 3-for-4 in the second game in College Park. In addition to his .371 average on the year, Sherlock leads the team in RBI with 47 and in doubles with 16. At his present pace, he could break the UVa single season records in both those categories. Sherlock is also tied for the team lead in homers with eight, while carrying a slugging percentage of .675 into the week.
GILLELAND RUNS UP RBI TOTAL: 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 Virginias regulars at .320, while ranking second on the team in runs batted in (34) and tied for third in home runs (seven). During his four year career, Gilleland now has a total of 157 RBI to rank third all-time at UVa. He needs to drive in 10 more runs this season to become the all-time school leader, a mark which is currently held by Bill Narleski (166 RBI / 1984-87).
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. WINAs first broadcast came last Saturday, Apr. 18, with the Cavaliers defeating St. Johns 4-1. The other games which will be carried are this Wednesdays game against Virginia Tech in Salem, Va., the Apr. 25 contest with Wake Forest and the May. 9 game against Florida State.
THE LAST MEETING WITH RADFORD: Virginia defeated Radford 9-3 the last time these teams met, on Feb. 26, 1997. Lefthander Javier Lopez picked up the victory for the Cavaliers, pitching six innings and striking out eight. Nine different batters collected hits for the Cavaliers, with second baseman Brian McGettigan driving in two runs.
THE LAST MEETING WITH JAMES MADISON: Josh Bowling was 3-for-4 with a double, a homer and four RBI as the Cavaliers posted an 11-3 victory over James Madison on Mar. 24. Hunter Wyant also went 3-for-4, while Jon Kemmerer, Brian Sherlock and Ryan Gilleland all had two hits. Tommy Keiper allowed three runs in five innings to pick up the victory in his first career start, while Brandon Creswell tossed four innings of scoreless relief to earn his first save.
NUCKOLS IMPRESSIVE OUT OF BULLPEN: Junior righthander Bradley Nuckols has been one of the top relief pitchers for the Cavaliers this season. He has been particularly effective over the last month, allowing only one earned run in his last five appearances. During that time Nuckols has picked up victories against both Clemson and North Carolina State, while striking out 10 and allowing only eight hits in 10-2/3 innings. Overall this year, Nuckols has a 3-1 record with a 2.20 earned run average and 21 strikeouts in 16-1/3 innings.
DOUBLING UP: Through 42 games, the Cavaliers have totaled 88 doubles for an average of 2.10 per game. Leading the way is Brian Sherlock with 16 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 10 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 second in doubles with 48, while Sherlock is not far behind as he ranks fifth with 45 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.
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 Apr. 8. Gilleland, who has now played in 208 games, is 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 tie Robinsons in the final game of the Florida State series.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Cavaliers are once again on their way to having a very successful record at home this season, winning 16 of the 22 games they have played thus far at UVa Field. This should come as no surprise, as they have had impressive home records each of the last two seasons. Virginia had a mark of 17-7 at home in 1997, with seven of its 10 ACC victories coming at UVa Field (the Cavaliers went 7-4 in ACC home games). In 1996, the Cavaliers had an overall record of 21-6 at home, including a 7-5 mark against ACC foes. Overall, Virginia now stands 54-19 at home over the last three seasons.
OUCH, THAT HURTS: Through 42 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 14 times this season, accounting for nearly half of the times a Cavalier batter has been hit all year (32). 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.
VIRGINIA SPLITS DOUBLEHEADER WITH ST. JOHNS: The Cavaliers split a pair of games with St. Johns last Saturday, dropping the first game 6-3 before coming back to win the night cap 4-1. Mike Dzurill and Gary Villacres both went 3-for-4 for the Red Storm in the first game, while Ted Kinsman and Tim LaVigne were both 2-for-3 for Virginia. In game two, Kevin Shrout struck out eight while allowing only one run in 7-2/3 innings to lead the Cavaliers to victory. Javier Lopez went 3-for-4 at the plate, while Jon Kemmerer and LaVigne were both 2-for-3 with an RBI.
CAVALIERS TOP TRIBE: Brandon Creswell picked up his first collegiate victory as Virginia posted a 5-1 win at William & Mary last Thursday. Creswell allowed only one run on five hits in eight innings of work while striking out six batters. Jon Kemmerer led the Cavaliers at the plate by going 3-for-5 with a stolen base and three RBI. Javier Lopez went 3-for-5 in the game, while Tim LaVigne was 2-for-5.
VIRGINIA FALLS TO VIRGINIA TECH: Last Wednesday, Virginia Tech broke a six-game losing streak against the Cavaliers with a 10-5 victory in Blacksburg. Pat Pinkman threw a complete game for the Hokies, striking out 10 while allowing only six hits. Josh Bowling hit a two-run homer for the Cavaliers, while Mark Rueffert went 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI.
CAVALIERS DOWN RICHMOND: The Cavaliers used three three-run innings to post a 9-7 victory over Richmond last Tuesday. Ryan Gilleland went 4-for-4 with a stolen base and two runs scored, while Julian Gonzalez was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI. Greg Withelder struck out a career-high eight batters while earning the victory, and Brandon Creswell tossed one scoreless inning to pick up a save.
HEAD COACH DENNIS WOMACK: UVa head coach Dennis Womack, who is in his 18th season with the Cavaliers, has a career record of 463-443-6. 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 win over William & Mary.
VIRGINIA KEEPS HITTING THE LONG BALL: The home run has been a key part of the Virginia offense over the last few weeks. The Cavaliers have homered 16 times in the last 13 games to raise their season total for homers to 48. 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.
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 this Monday, Apr. 20, at 3:00 p.m. The third game at Georgia Tech, scheduled for Mar. 8, and the third game of the St. Johns series, scheduled for Apr. 19, have both been cancelled. Those are currently the only changes to the schedule listed in the Virginia baseball media guide.