Baseball Hosts St. Johns
April 17, 1998
THE SLATE: Virginia (22-17-1 overall, 5-12 ACC) returns home this weekend, as it will plays host to St. Johns in a three-game series on Apr. 18-19. The Cavaliers and the Red Storm will play a doubleheader on Saturday at 1:00 p.m., followed by a single game at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. The series with the Red Storm begins a stretch of six games in five days for Virginia. The Cavaliers travel to Radford on Monday, Apr. 20, play host to James Madison on Tuesday, Apr. 21, then take on Virginia Tech is Salem, Va., on Wednesday, Apr. 22.
THE SERIES WITH THE RED STORM: Virginia and St. Johns have met 11 times prior to this weekend, with the Cavaliers leading the all-time series 10-1. The teams have met only once since 1920, with the Cavaliers posting a 9-1 victory in Charlottesville on Mar. 22, 1984. The only victory for St. Johns in the series came in 1910, when it won 6-2. The Cavaliers and the Red Storm first met during the 1896 season, with Virginia winning 18-12.
ON THE MOUND: Sophomore righthander Casey Kennedy (5-3, 4.66 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for the Cavaliers against St. Johns in the first game of this weekends series on Apr. 18. Sophomore righthander Kevin Shrout (4-4, 4.24 ERA) will then start against the Red Storm in the second game of the Apr. 18 doubleheader. In the final game of the series on Apr. 19, freshman lefthander Greg Withelder (2-2, 6.23 ERA) is scheduled to start for UVa.
CRESWELL HAS BIG WEEK ON THE MOUND: Freshman lefthander Brandon Creswell as turned in two outstanding performances on the mound for the Cavaliers this 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 44 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 is coming off a huge game at William & Mary on Thursday, where he went 3-for-5 with a stolen base and three RBI. Kemmerer, who has started in left field, center field and at designated hitter, has now gone 25-for-78 (.321) over the Cavaliers last 22 games with 15 runs scored, 15 runs batted in and eight stolen bases. Prior to Mar. 17, Kemmerer had only 11 hits and three RBI in his entire UVa career.
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 now batting .264 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 21 games. During that 21-game stretch, he has gone 32-for-82 (.390) with 14 walks, nine doubles, three homers and 23 RBI. Sherlock has drawn 32 walks on the year, giving him a team-best on-base percentage of .481. 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. He has therefore reached base at least once in every game this year where he has come up to the plate a minimum of four times.
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.
KENNEDY LOOKS TO STAY PERFECT AT HOME: In the first game of the series with St. Johns, sophomore righthander Casey Kennedy will look to continue his mastery in games played at UVa Field. In five home starts this season, Kennedy stands 3-0 with a 3.73 earned run average and 22 strikeouts in 31-1/3 innings. Dating back to last season he now has a 5-0 record in his last seven home starts, with a 2.55 ERA and 29 strikeouts over 49-1/3 innings.
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 .329, while ranking second on the team in runs batted in (33) and tied for third in home runs (seven). During his four year career, Gilleland now has a total of 156 RBI to rank third all-time at UVa. He needs to drive in 11 more runs this season to become the all-time school leader, a mark which is currently held by Bill Narleski (166 RBI / 1984-87).
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 .379 average on the season. He recorded his 18th multi-hit game of the season during last weekends series at Maryland, going 3-for-4 in the second game in College Park. In addition to his .379 average on the year, Sherlock leads the team in RBI with 45 and in doubles with 15. 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 .690 into the weekend.
KENNEDY RETURNING TO FORM: Sophomore Casey Kennedy turned in another solid performance at Maryland last Sunday. Kennedy threw eight innings against the Terrapins, scattering 11 hits and allowing only one run and no walks while striking out five. He now appears to be returning to his form of last year, when he ranked second in the ACC with a 2.52 earned run average in conference games. For the season, Kennedy has a 5-3 record with a 4.66 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 67-2/3 innings.
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 scheduled broadcast comes this Saturday, Apr. 18, when it will carry the second game of the doubleheader with St. Johns. 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.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Cavaliers are once again on their way to having a very successful record at home this season, winning 15 of the 20 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 53-18 at home over the last three seasons.
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.
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 206 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 break Robinsons record during the Florida State series.
OUCH, THAT HURTS: Through 40 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 (30). 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 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 15 times in the last 12 games to raise their season total for homers to 47. 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.
HEAD COACH DENNIS WOMACK: UVa head coach Dennis Womack, who is in his 18th season with the Cavaliers, has a career record of 462-442-6. 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.
DOUBLING UP: Through 40 games, the Cavaliers have totaled 84 doubles for an average of 2.10 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 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 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.
CAVALIERS TOP TRIBE: Brandon Creswell picked up his first collegiate victory as Virginia posted a 5-1 win at William & Mary on 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: On 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 on 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.
VIRGINIA DROPS TWO OF THREE GAMES AT MARYLAND: The Cavaliers lost the first two games of their series at Maryland last weekend, before coming back to win the series finale. In the first game the Cavaliers held a 4-2 lead in the middle of the sixth, but the Terrapins scored five runs with only one hit the next two innings to claim a 7-4 victory. The second game was scoreless for five innings, before Maryland put four runs on the board in the bottom of the sixth on its way to a 10-3 win. In the final game, Casey Kennedy struck out five in eight innings while allowing only one run and no walks to lead the Cavaliers to a 9-1 win.
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.