Ready for our next matchup? Both of these guys were the 2nd best reliever in their respective seasons in Virginia….

  • Matthew Smallwood, ATVL’s 2nd best reliever in 2015, came to Winchester after a redshirt season at New Mexico. All he did for the Royals is go 4-1, 3.27, with a save, 0.955 WHIP, 1.6 BB/9, and 13.9 K/9 in 22 innings pitched. He finished his summer pitching in the Cape Cod League. You might wonder if Smallwood is now pitching professionally somewhere, but he chose a different path altogether. After returning to New Mexico the next year, Smallwood left baseball altogether to focus on a medical career.
  • Alex Hoppe arrived in Harrisonburg after his redshirt sophomore season at UNC Greensboro in 2019. In 11 games and 26 2/3 innings pitched, Hoppe went 3-1, 1.68, with a save, 0.974 WHIP, 3.4 BB/9, and 13.1 K/9 (39 K’s in those 26 innings). He was ATVL’s 2nd best reliever that summer. In 2020, Hoppe went 2-1, 4.82, with 24 K’s in 18 2/3 innings pitched in college- his best game was on March 7th against Maryland Eastern Shore, when he struck out 10 and allowed one run in seven innings pitched.

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And by the way, if you want to read a ton about either the 2015 or 2019 VBL season, be sure to check out this post on the 2019 Valley League Annual. (Whatever, man, I’m still glad I wrote them.)

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