Wahoowa! A Sports Week for the Ages

For University of Virginia sports fans who like to keep tabs on former athletes, does it get much better than the last week?

There was the baseball player tying a franchise record for runs batted in, then, just a day later, making his first-ever pitching appearance.

There was the soccer player blasting in a free kick that couldn’t have been better executed if Ronaldo himself had taken it.

There was the tennis player – similar to a plot line from a movie he had appeared in several years before – making a run at Wimbledon.

Talk about a week for the ages.

Yes, from London’s All England Club to Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., to City Stadium in Richmond, it’s been an unbelievable, and, at times, surreal, last six-plus days for several former UVA athletes who are now excelling at the professional level.

Let’s hit the rewind button and revel in their glory.

It all started last Friday night when Washington Nationals infielder Mark Reynolds – who starred at UVA from 2002 to 2004 – hit a pinch-hit, walk-off homer to beat the Miami Marlins.

Reynolds was just getting started.

On Saturday, he was in the starting lineup and went 5-for-5 with two home runs and 10 RBI – the latter mark tying a Nationals record – in an 18-4 win.

Then, the next day, with the Nats losing badly and their normal relief pitchers overtaxed, Reynolds made his first career pitching appearance. He threw three pitches, retiring the Marlins’ Bryan Holaday on a grounder.

According to ESPN, Reynolds is just the third player in Major League Baseball history to have a 10-RBI game and a pitching appearance during his career.

Reynolds’ performance in the three-game series led to National League Player of the Week honors and Deadspin calling the 34-year-old – who has played for eight Major League teams – “The Most Interesting Man In Baseball.”

But Reynolds hasn’t been the only former Wahoo grabbing headlines for the Nats.

On Sunday, Sean Doolittle – who has converted 22 of 23 save chances this season and has a 16.3 strikeout-to-walk ratio – was named a National League All-Star (though he won’t be playing in the game due to what is believed to be a minor toe injury).

Not bad for a guy who started his pro career as a first baseman before switching back to pitching.

Doolittle was a standout first baseman and pitcher at UVA from 2005 to 2007.

On Monday, former UVA soccer star Scott Thomsen (who played from 2012 to 2015) scored on one of the prettiest shots you’ll ever see, leading the Richmond Kickers of the United Soccer League to a 2-1 victory over Penn FC in the debut of new Kickers coach David Bulow.

Moving across the pond, former UVA tennis star Dom Inglot – who won the NCAA doubles championship with teammate Michael Shabaz in 2009 – is currently on one of his best runs at Wimbledon.

Playing in front of family and friends, the England native – who played actor Paul Bettany’s stunt double in the romantic comedy “Wimbledon” in 2004 – and partner Franko Skugor advanced to Thursday’s men’s double semifinals against Mike Bryan and Jack Sock following a hard-fought, three-set win.

Inglot isn’t the only former Wahoo player making his presence felt at Wimbledon.

Jarmere Jenkins, who starred at UVA from 2010 to 2013, has been serving as Serena Williams’ hitting partner. He has been frequently spotted on television wearing UVA shirts as he watches the matches with fellow alum Alexis Ohanian, Williams’ husband.

Jenkins’ older brother is Venus Williams’ hitting partner.

Media Contact

Whitelaw Reid

University News Associate Office of University Communications