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June 27, 2012

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia third baseman Stephen Bruno (R-So., Audubon, N.J.) and head coach Brian O’Connor captured top honors on the 2012 University Division All-State Baseball Team, as chosen by the Virginia College Sports Information Directors (VaSID). Bruno was named the state’s Player of the Year, while O’Connor earned his seventh Coach of the Year award in the last nine years.

Six Cavaliers were selected to the team, the most of any program in the state. Bruno was joined on the first team by relief pitcher Justin Thompson (Sr., Danville, Va.). Four Cavaliers were named to the second team: shortstop Chris Taylor (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.), outfielder Derek Fisher (Fr., Rexmont, Pa.), starting pitcher Branden Kline (Jr., Frederick, Md.) and relief pitcher Shane Halley (Sr., Burke, Va.).

Bruno is UVa’s first VaSID Player of the Year honoree since Ryan Zimmerman in 2005. Bruno racked up 88 hits this season, which tied him for the sixth most in UVa history, and led the ACC in hits per game (1.52). He batted .370 for the season with a single-season school-record tying 23 doubles. He also drove in 54 runs and scored 49 times. Bruno was a seventh-round selection by the Chicago Cubs in the 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft.

Thompson was a second-team All-ACC relief pitcher this year. He picked up 12 saves and tied for third in the conference in that category. Nine of his saves came in conference play. He finished his strong senior campaign with a 4-3 record with a 2.27 ERA in a team-high 34 games. Following the season he signed a free-agent contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Taylor hit .284 with five home runs and 47 RBI in his junior campaign and was picked in the fifth round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners. He played in all 127 games for Virginia for the last two seasons. He played some of his baseball during the NCAA tournament, with a .400 career average (22-for-55) in the postseason.

Fisher was named to the Louisville Slugger and NCBWA Freshman All-America teams. He hit .288 with seven home runs and 50 RBI during his rookie season. He also cranked eight triples to match Jarrett Parker’s UVa single-season school record and finished second on the team with 26 extra-base hits. Fisher led all ACC freshmen in triples, home runs, RBI and slugging (.507) this year.

Kline was a second-team All-ACC pick in 2012 as a starting pitcher, going 7-3 with 3.56 ERA. In 93.2 innings, he struck out 94 batters and limited foes to a .241 batting average. Kline also was named to the VaSID All-State team in 2011 as a relief pitcher. Following the 2012 season he was picked in the second round of the MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles.

Halley had a strong senior year, going 9-2 with a 2.15 ERA in 22 appearances, including three starts. While working a career-best 50.1 innings, Halley allowed only 32 hits and limited his opponents to a .183 batting average. He yielded only eight extra-base hits. Six of his nine wins came in ACC play. He was a 20th-round selection of the Kansas City Royals in the 2012 MLB Draft.

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