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Six UVa baseball players selected to program’s hall of fame

Six UVa baseball players selected to program’s hall of fame

Six players joined the Virginia Baseball Hall of Fame on Friday night, the program announced. The group of 2021 inductees includes Steve Bryant, Nathan Kirby, Branden Kline, Mike Papi, Josh Sborz and Brandon Waddell.

The Virginia Baseball Hall of Fame was created in 2017 and 28 members now belong in the exclusive club after this year’s selections.

Bryant played for UVa from 1968-70 as an outfielder. He became the first UVa player to lead the ACC in batting average in 1970, when he hit for a .383 average. Bryant finished his career with a .341 batting average, which was the highest in UVa history when he graduated. It currently ranks 10th.

Kirby was a critical member of the program’s 2015 national championship squad. He clinched UVa’s national title with a save in Game 3 of the series with Vanderbilt, striking out the final batter. The left-handed pitcher also was a 2014 first-team All-American and the 2014 ACC Co-Pitcher of the Year.

Kline, a right-handed pitcher, played for Virginia from 2010-12. He finished his career with 21 saves, which ranks third in program history. He earned first team All-ACC honors in 2011 and second team honors in 2012.

An outfielder and first baseman, Papi played for UVa from 2012-14. He led the ACC with home runs and RBI in 2014, one season after he won the ACC batting title with a .381 batting average. Papi walked 61 times in the 2014 season, which is a program record.

Like Kirby, Sborz played on the 2015 national title team. The right-handed pitcher was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2015 College World Series after tying a CWS record with three wins. He didn’t allow a run during the CWS.

Waddell, a left-handed pitcher, was also a member of the 2015 national championship squad. He shined in postseason play, going 6-1 with 2.34 ERA across his NCAA Tournament career. UVa went 5-0 in CWS games started by Waddell.

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