Virginia Wesleyan Sits Atop ODAC Baseball Poll

BC, H-SC, R-MC Also Receive First Place Votes

SALEM, Va. --- Virginia Wesleyan College sits atop the 2008 ODAC Coaches' Poll with 90 total votes, but predicting the winner of this season's campaign provided varied points of view.  VWC received four of the ten first place votes, but four of the top five teams in this year's poll also received top spot consideration.

Bridgewater College holds the second position in the survey with 79 votes including a pair of first place selections.  Hampden-Sydney College is a close third with 77 tallies and three top predictions.  Lynchburg College sits just two more votes lower with 75 points, and Randolph-Macon College commanded the remaining first place vote and 69 total points.

Virginia Wesleyan (23-17, 13-5 ODAC) finished in a tie at the top of the ODAC standings with Hampden-Sydney (25-18, 13-5 ODAC) last season.  The Marlins ranked fourth in the league in hitting with a .301 batting average, and led the ODAC in pitching with a 4.05 earned run average.  They'll be looking to replace a couple-tier talents including last season's ODAC batting champion and Player of the Year, Matt Hudgins (.447 BA, 6 HR, 47 RBI, along with ERA champion, Dave Whigham, (3-4, 2.00 ERA, 69 K's, 63 IP), and wins leader, Chris Riviera (8-0, 2.44 ERA, 64 K's, 88.2 IP).  Ozz Dhramapitaksook looks for another good season after hitting at a .362 clip last year, and Jesse Freeman will look to anchor the staff after going 3-3 with a 3.30 ERA in seven starts.

Bridgewater (21-23, 12-6 ODAC) looks for a return trip to the NCAA tournament after winning its ODAC record 12th league title as season ago.  Last year's ODAC Rookie of the Year, Andrew Chrismer (.339, 5 HR, 37 RBI), heads a potent Eagle offense that will have to replace the production of former Player of the Year, Ricky Read (.380 BA, 7 HR, 41 RBI).  Mike Graves (.360 BA, 17 RBI) and Michael Lenox (.393 BA, 3 HR, 24 RBI) will help provide some punch while Nolan Shaffer (4-5, 3.72 ERA, 64 K's, 65.1 IP) heads the pitching staff.

Hampden-Sydney fell victim to Bridgewater twice in last season's ODAC tournament, including the championship game.  In an effort to get over that final hurdle, the Tigers return six starters throughout their lineup including top hitters Josh Michael (.387 BA, 4 HR, 31 RBI), Ben Brawley (.316, 1, 18) and Luke Swiney (.314, 0, 19).  The pitching staff also returns two starters in Daniel Hadra (6-3, 3.92 ERA, 63 K's, 82.2 IP) and Robbie Bailey (5-1, 4.10 ERA, 43 K's, 52.2 IP).

Lynchburg (23-18, 12-6 ODAC) finished tied for first with Washington & Lee (18-14, 11-7 ODAC) in batting with a .316 team batting average, and placed second in pitching with a 4.53 team ERA.  Randolph-Macon (19-20-1, 8-10 ODAC) finished fifth in the league in runs scored (244) and was the most patient squad at the plate, drawing a conference-high 162 walks.

Listed below is the entire 2008 ODAC Baseball Coaches' Poll.  For more information on baseball and the rest of the ODAC sports, visit the ODAC on the Internet at

2008 ODAC Baseball Coaches' Poll
(#) denotes first place votes



1. Virginia Wesleyan

90 (4)

2. Bridgewater

79 (2)

3. Hampden-Sydney

77 (3)

4. Lynchburg


5. Randolph-Macon

69 (1)

6. Washington & Lee


7. Guilford


8. Roanoke


9. Eastern Mennonite


10. Emory & Henry