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Verlander, Harris & Smith Earn All-CAA Honors

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: May 25, 2004
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May 25, 2004

WILMINGTON, NC.-- Junior righthanders Justin Verlander (Goochland, VA.) and Donnie Smith (Portsmouth, VA.-IC Norcom HS) along with sophomore outfielder Steven Harris (VA. Beach, Va.- Kellam HS) were named to the 2004 Colonial Athletic Association's All-Conference team as selected by the leagues head coaches.

Verlander, the 6-4, 200-pounder earned first team honors. He is currently 7-5 with a 3.19 earned run average. He leads the CAA and ranks third nationally in strikeouts with 145 in just 98.2 innings which is already a single season record at ODU and the CAA, and one shy of the state record shared by Tim Burcham (UVA '85) and Tim Stouffer (UR '2003) . His 421 career strikeouts in 328.2 innings is also a state, CAA and ODU mark. Verlander is averaging 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

Earlier this week Verlander was selected as one of ten finalists for the prestigious Roger Clemens award as the nation's top collegiate pitcher. Teams are batting only .223 against him. Verlander fanned a career high tying 17 batters at JMU. He also struckout 16 against VCU and 13 against Towson. In all, he fanned ten or more seven times this season. In addition to beating Rutgers and Virginia, Verlander also shutout VCU.

Donnie Smith (2nd team) ranks second in the CAA (22nd nationally) with a 2.03 (1.89 in CAA games) earned run average after compiling a 6-2 record with two complete games, including a one-hit shutout over William and Mary. Smith has 97 strikeouts in 80 innings and ranks third in the CAA and 30th (10.5) nationally in that category. He has six saves this year and teams are batting only .198 against him. Smith fanned ten or more batters three times, including 12 against Delaware. Last Thursday, Smith came in against UNCW and fanned six of seven batters he faced to save the game for Verlander. He also saved three consecutive games at JMU.

Steven Harris (2nd team) leads the Monarchs in just about every offensive category. He is hitting .350 with 38 runs batted in, 34 runs scored, five homers and a .461 slugging percentage. He is batting .394 with 23 runs batted in, in 24 CAA games. Harris knocked in five runs in a game against Princeton and Hofstra. He has had 21 multi-hit games, including a current 14-game hitting streak.

Bill Brown, head coach at George Mason was named CAA Coach of the Year, while William and Mary outfielder Chris Rahl was named Player of the Year. Pitcher Harold Mozingo (VCU) was the Rookie of the Year and George Mason shortstop Jeff Palumbo is the Defensive Player of the Year.

This year's CAA Championships begin Wednesday at UNC Wilmington. #1 George Mason plays #6 Delaware at 12 noon. #3 VCU takes on #4 William and Mary at 3:30 and #5 ODU plays Host #2 UNCW at 7:00 p.m.

2004 ALL-CAA BASEBALL TEAM (as selected by CAA Head Baseball Coaches)

FIRST TEAM

Player, School Pos. Cl. Hometown/High School Brian Valichka, Delaware C So. Frederick, Md./Urbana Chris Looze, George Mason# 1B Jr. Amherst, Mass./Amherst Regional Will Rhymes, William & Mary 2B Jr. Houston, Texas/Lamar Jeff Palumbo, George Mason# SS Sr. Bowie, Md./St. John's Anthony Granato, Va. Commonwealth 3B Sr. Burlingame, Calif./Burlingame Chris Rahl, William & Mary OF So. Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge Chip Grawey, UNC Wilmington# OF Sr. Fairfax, Va./Paul VI Mike Butia, James Madison* OF Jr. Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny Casper Wells, Towson DH So. Schenectady, N.Y./Schenectady Mike Walsh, Hofstra UT So. Norfolk, Mass./King Philip Regional Stacen Gant, George Mason SP Jr. Herndon, Va./Oakton Justin Verlander, Old Dominion* SP Jr. Goochland, Va./Goochland Blake Cross, UNC Wilmington# RP Sr. Jamestown, N.C./S.W. Guilford

SECOND TEAM

Player, School Pos. Cl. Hometown/High School

Neal Eichhorn, UNC Wilmington C Sr. Freedom, Pa./Freedom Matt Sutton, UNC Wilmington# 1B So. LaGrange, N.C./Greene Central Ricky Caputo, Hofstra 2B So. Miller Place, N.Y./Miller Place Aaron Smith, UNC Wilmington SS Sr. Everett, Wash./Cascade Nick Shimer, George Mason* 3B Sr. Clifton, Va./Robinson Steven Harris, Old Dominion OF So. Virginia Beach, Va./Kellam Adam Heffron, Towson OF So. Laurel, Md./Hammond Adam Innerst, George Mason OF Jr. York, Pa./York Suburban Kelly Buber, Delaware DH Jr. Yuba City, Calif./Yuba City Jonathan Batts, UNC Wilmington UT Fr. Wilmington, N.C./Topsail Donnie Smith, Old Dominion SP Jr. Portsmouth, Va./Norcom Justin Orenduff, Va. Commonwealth* SP Jr. Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch Cla Meredith, Va. Commonwealth* RP Jr. Chesterfield, Va./Meadowbrook Bill Bray, William & Mary# RP Jr. Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes

2004 CAA PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Chris Rahl, So., OF, William & Mary 2004 CAA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jeff Palumbo, Sr., SS, George Mason 2004 CAA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Harold Mozingo, Fr., RHP, Virginia Commonwealth 2004 CAA COACH OF THE YEAR: Bill Brown, George Mason * - 1st team All-CAA in 2003 # - 2nd team All-CAA in 2003

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