Monarchs Open 2000 Season Friday Against South Carolina

February 08, 2000
By ODU Athletics

NORFOLK, Va. (Feb. 8) -- The Old Dominion University baseball squad opens the 2000 season against South Carolina in the first round of the Citadel Classic in Charleston, SC. The game will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Friday.

Old Dominion will then play Maryland on Saturday at 10 am, then finish the tournament against N.C. State on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Pre-season All-American shortstop Tim Hummel heads a list of 15 returning lettermen, including four position starters and two starting pitchers from last years' CAA Tournament finalists. The Monarchs have reached the CAA Tournament finals five of the last six years.

Hummel earned first team All-CAA, All-State and All-Region honors in 1999.He was also selected to the Cape Cod Summer League All-Star squad along with Monarch teammates Shawn Weaver and Shawn Pearson. In 1999, Hummel hit .368 with five home runs, 62 runs batted in, 21 stolen bases and 21 doubles. He led the team in rbi, in doubles, and ranked first in the CAA in doubles and sixth in rbi. During the summer, Hummel led the league with 37 walks, was third with a .440 on base percentage and scored 38 runs.

He was selected second team pre-season All-American by BASEBALL AMERICA and third team by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and COLLEGIATE BASEBALL MAGAZINE. "Since his freshman year, Tim has really grown in all facets of his game. He has gotten stronger, faster and has an oustanding work ethic," said Monarch head coach Tony Guzzo. "We are really excited for him and all of the national publicity has been richly deserved."

Also returning are Jason Greiner (Sr.,Of .278 ba/8 hr/41 rbi), Joe Troilo (Sr. OF, .272 ba/ 5 hr/41 rbi) ,Jared Musolf (So,1b, .279 ba), and Jeff Eure (So. 3b, hr). The Monarchs will also be counting on Travis Silver (Jr, C, ), Ross Robertson (Jr,,inf,), Brendan Mitchell (Jr, C), and Brent Sollenberger (Fr.inf), who was granted a medical redshirted last year.

On the mound, the Monarchs return Brian Ross (Jr, LHP,1-0, 3.21 era), Shawn Weaver( Jr, RHP, 9-4, 4.65 era), Louis Mazzante (So,RHP, 4-2), Parker Friske. (Jr, LHP, 3-2), Jon Tinkham (So.,LHP), and red-shirt freshman, Mike Hoover (Fr. RHP). Weaver pitched three complete games and tossed shutouts against Virginia and UNC Charlotte. Weaver ranked second in the Cape Cod League with a 1.58 ERA. Ross returned late in the season from an injury and tossed a solid complete game win in the CAA Tournament against George Mason which put the Monarchs back into the CAA finals.

Gone from last year's team that finished 30th in the final NCAA RPI rankings with a 28-4 non conference record are Tony Gsell (2b, .375 ba./17 hr/ 61 rbi), Anthony Forelli (lb, .336 ba/12 hr/58 rbi), Jim Detwiler (RHP, 8-3, 3.66 era, 6 hr), Shawn Pearson (cf, .318 ba, 43 steals), Eric Folmar (C, .245 ba ), Andy Lee (LHP, 1.91 era, 3-1, 10 saves), David Bailey (RHP, 8-5, 4.65 era), and Ben Hamlet (LHP).

Gsell, became the school's all-time career homerun leader with 37, and earned second team All-CAA honors. He was also the school's Male Athlete of the Year. Gsell also hit four career grand slam homers, the most in school history. He was drafted in the 16th round by the Chicago Cubs. Anthony Forelli completed his career as the Monarchs fourth all-time homerun hitter and was drafted by Milwaukee in the 26th round. Jim Detwiler hit homers but was one of the most dominating pitchers in the CAA last year. He tossed three shutouts and earned All-CAA honors. Detwiler was drafted in the 16th round by Toronto Blue Jays. Shawn Pearson signed with Toronto after an All-Star summer in the Cape Cod League. Pearson was second in the CAA in steals and led the Cape in that category. Ace reliever, Andy Lee had ten saves and earned All- CAA , All-State and second team All-Region honors. David Bailey won eight games and later signed with the Chicago Cubs.

Tony Guzzo's staff brought in a very talented crop of 11 newcomers. They include five pitchers, four outfielders, an infielder and a catcher. The newcomers are Ryan Dunn (Fr, OF) from Bristol, Va.; Kevin Evans (Fr. RHP) from Medford, NJ.; Chris Grynaviski (Fr,2b) from Emmaus, Pa.); Barry Hertzler (Fr. RHP) from East Providence, RI ; Kevin Heninger (Fr. C) from Virginia Beach, Va.;Rusty Hummel (Fr. RHP) from Montgomery, NY.; J.D. Jackson (Jr, RHP) from Sallisaw, OK.; Dan McAfee (Fr, RHP) from Crofton, Md.; Matt Moye (Fr., OF) from Beaver Falls, Pa..); Jesse Thomas (Fr., OF) from Ventnor, NJ; David Vilardi (So, OF) from Fishkill, NY.) and Ryan Williams (Fr, RHP) from Virginia Beach, Va..

"It is really tough to replace the guys we lost last year. Because of the youthfulness of this team and the fact that some returnees will be playing different positions we have a lot of question marks,"notes Guzzo. "I really like our freshmen class, but we want to bring them along slowly. We have another strong schedule which can only make us a better team down the road and prepare us for the CAA games. We want to be playing our best baseball down the stretch."

Once again the Monarchs will play another challenging schedule. Five non conference opponents who played in last year's NCAA Tournament as well as the 21 games in the CAA, which ranked third among the nation's conferences. The CAA put three teams in last year's NCAA tournament. The five non conference teams who went to the NCAA's in 1999 are N.C. State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Rutgers, Virginia Tech and South Carolina. Also on the Monarchs schedule are Virginia, Duke, Maryland and Princeton. Virginia Tech, N.C. State, Wake Forest and UNC Charlotte will be home games. The CAA three-game home series will be against Richmond, George Mason, and UNC Wilmington.

The Monarchs open the season at the Citadel Classic against South Carolina on Feb. 11. The first home game is on Feb. 25 against Rutgers while the first CAA series is March 17 against Richmond.

Old Dominion will again play the New York Mets AAA affiliate, Norfolk Tides in the annual scholarship game in Norfolk's Harbor Park. This year's CAA Tournament moves to the Outer Banks town of Manteo, NC, May 16-21. The Monarchs will play a non-conference game in Manteo against CAA rival Virginia Commonwealth on April 24.

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