UVA baseball: Four Cavaliers named to 2016 All-ACC Baseball Team

virginia baseballFour members of the UVA baseball team earned spots on the 2016 All-ACC Team, as voted on by the league’s 14 head coaches. Connor Jones (Jr., Chesapeake, Va.) earned first-team honors at starting pitcher to highlight the Cavaliers’ selections. Matt Thaiss (Jr., Jackson, N.J.) and Pavin Smith (So., Jupiter, Fla.) were second-team picks at catcher and first base, respectively, while Ernie Clement (So., Rochester, N.Y.) was a third-team selection at second base.

The All-ACC honors were the first for each member of the Cavalier quartet.

Jones is 11-1 with a 2.05 ERA this season as Virginia’s Friday starter. He leads the ACC in innings pitched (92.1) and is tied for first in wins (11) and complete games (3). In ACC play, he owns a league-high nine wins and three complete games. Jones has been named a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and also is on the watch lists for the Golden Spikes Award and National Pitcher of Year Award. He twice has been named ACC Pitcher of Week this year. Jones is tied with current Oakland Athletic Sean Doolittle (2005-07) for fourth in career wins at Virginia and ranks 10th at UVA with 262 2/3 innings pitched.

Thaiss is batting a team-high .378 (fifth in the ACC) while playing in each of UVA’s 54 games, including starts in all but five games behind the plate. He ranks fourth among conference players in hits (79), sixth in RBI (54), total bases (122) and slugging (.584), seventh in OBP (.474), 10th in home runs (9) and 12th in runs (49). He also leads the team with a .357 batting average and 32 RBI in ACC play. Thaiss has been named a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and Johnny Bench Award and also is on the watch list for the Golden Spikes Award.

Smith is hitting .330 with six home runs, 13 doubles and 51 RBI while playing in all 54 of Virginia’s games in the cleanup slot this season. He ranks eighth in the ACC in RBI. Smith was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team last season.

Clement is batting .353 with 11 doubles, three triples and 24 RBI. He leads the ACC in hits with 83, the most hits by a Cavalier in the regular season since current Arizona Diamondback Phil Gosselin in 2010. He also ranks second in the ACC in runs with 59. That total ranks eighth in single-season history at UVA.

Virginia opens play in the 2016 ACC Baseball Championship at 11 a.m. Thursday when it takes on Clemson at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C. UVA is seeded No. 3 in the pool-play tournament, while Clemson is the No. 6 seed.


2016 All-ACC Baseball Teams

First Team
C – Chris Okey, Clemson
C – Zack Collins, Miami
1B – Tristin English, Georgia Tech
2B – Nate Mondou, Wake Forest
3B – John Sansone, Florida State
3B – Will Craig, Wake Forest
SS – Charles Leblanc, Pitt
OF – Seth Beer, Clemson
OF – Kel Johnson, Georgia Tech
OF – Matt Gonzalez, Georgia Tech
OF – Corey Ray, Louisville
DH/UT – Brendan McKay, Louisville
SP – Drew Harrington, Louisville
SP – Brendan McKay, Louisville
SP – Connor Jones, Virginia
RP – Zack Burdi, Louisville

Second Team
C – Matt Thaiss, Virginia
1B – Preston Palmeiro, NC State
1B – Pavin Smith, Virginia
2B – Nick Solak, Louisville
2B – Johnny Ruiz, Miami
3B – Evan Mendoza, NC State
SS – Taylor Walls, Florida State
OF – Jimmy Herron, Duke
OF – Tyler Ramirez, North Carolina
OF – Stuart Fairchild, Wake Forest
DH/UT – Jack Labosky, Duke
SP – Brandon Gold, Georgia Tech
SP – J.B. Bukauskas, North Carolina
SP – T.J. Zeuch, Pitt
RP – Pat Krall, Clemson
RP – Matthew Gorst, Georgia Tech

Third Team
C – Will Smith, Louisville
1B – Gavin Sheets, Wake Forest
2B – Ernie Clement, Virginia
3B – Blake Tiberi, Louisville
SS – Connor Justus, Georgia Tech
SS – Devin Hairston, Louisville
SS – Brandon Lopez, Miami
OF – Willie Abreu, Miami
OF – Carl Chester, Miami
OF – Josh McLain, NC State
DH/UT – Nick Yarnall, Pitt
SP – Justin Dunn, Boston College
SP – Michael Mediavilla, Miami
SP – Zac Gallen, North Carolina
SP – Parker Dunshee, Wake Forest
RP – Bryan Garcia, Miami

All-Freshman Team
Jacob Stevens, SP, Boston College
Seth Beer, OF, Clemson
Jimmy Herron, OF, Duke
Zack Kone, SS, Duke
Cal Raleigh, C, Florida State
Tristin English, 1B, Georgia Tech
Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech
Devin Mann, 2B, Louisville
Frankie Bartow, RP, Miami
Brett Kinneman, OF, NC State
Matt Vierling, OF, Notre Dame
Yaya Chentouf, RP, Pitt

Player of the Year – Seth Beer, Clemson
Pitcher of the Year – Drew Harrington, Louisville
Freshman of the Year – Seth Beer, Clemson
Coach of the Year – Dan McDonnell, Louisville

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