Jones, Smith Named Baseball America Preseason All-Americans
Feb. 1, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. Ã¢â‚¬” Virginia’s Connor Jones (Jr., Chesapeake, Va.) and Pavin Smith (So., Jupiter, Fla.) have been named to Baseball America’s 2016 Preseason All-America Team, which was announced Monday by the publication. Both were third-team selections. Baseball America annually polls major league organizations’ scouting departments to vote on the team and make their selections based on performance, talent and professional potential.
Jones went 7-3 with a 3.19 ERA in 18 starts in 2015. He worked an ACC-high 115 2/3 innings, striking out 113 and limiting opponents to a .226 batting average. Jones worked at least six innings in each of his last nine starts and struck out seven or more in five of those games. He also has been named to the preseason All-America squads of D1Baseball (first team) and Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game (second team).
A Freshman All-American in 2015, Smith batted .307 with seven home runs and 44 RBI while playing in all 68 games. He led the team with 83 hits, becoming the first Cavalier freshman to lead the team in hits since Bill Narleski in 1984. He was selected to the All-NCAA Lake Elsinore Regional Team and also was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team. Smith hit the game-tying, two-run home run in the fourth inning and the two-out, go-ahead single in the fifth inning in Game 3 of the CWS Finals against Vanderbilt.
Coming off the program’s first NCAA championship in 2015, Virginia returns 17 letterwinners and welcomes 17 newcomers this season. Virginia owns the most wins in Division I baseball over the last seven seasons with 342 and also has won 40 NCAA tournament games in that span (second most nationally). UVA has led the country by winning six regional championships and making four trips to the College World Series since 2009.
Ranked as high as fourth nationally in the preseason, the Cavaliers open the 2016 season on Friday, Feb. 19, against Kent State in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The team’s home opener at Davenport Field is Tuesday, Feb. 23, against VMI.