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Flying Squirrels announce field staff as team remains hopeful for 2021 season

José Alguacil will return as the Richmond Flying Squirrels’ manager for the 2021 season, the San Francisco Giants announced on Monday. Alguacil will be joined by pitching coach Steve Kline, hitting coach Doug Clark and fundamentals coach Gary Davenport.

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José Alguacil will return as the Richmond Flying Squirrels’ manager for the 2021 season, the San Francisco Giants announced on Monday. Alguacil will be joined by pitching coach Steve Kline, hitting coach Doug Clark and fundamentals coach Gary Davenport.

Alguacil had been named as the Flying Squirrels’ manager last year prior to the cancelation of the 2020 season. He previously managed in Richmond during the 2015 season and led the team to a 72-68 record, the third-best mark in the franchise’s history and its most recent season with a winning record.

The 2021 field staff includes:

  • Manager: José Alguacil
  • Pitching Coach: Steve Kline
  • Hitting Coach: Doug Clark
  • Fundamentals Coach: Gary Davenport
  • Athletic Trainer: Garrett Havig
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach: Joe Palazzolo

The 2021 season will be Alguacil’s 15th overall with the Giants organization. He served as the first base coach and oversaw bunting instruction while assisting with infield defense and baserunning in San Francisco from 2017-2019 on Bruce Bochy’s major league staff.

As a player, Alguacil signed with the Giants as an infielder in 1993. He played nine professional seasons in the minors and independent leagues, spending time with the Giants and Chicago White Sox organizations.

Following his playing career, Alguacil served as an instructor in the minors for the Montreal Expos from 2002-2003. He began his managerial career in 2004 with the Vermont Expos, Montreal’s short-season Single-A affiliate in the New York-Penn League. He remained with the organization as it transitioned to becoming the Washington Nationals in 2005 as a minor league infield coordinator. Alguacil managed the Vermont Lake Monsters in 2006.

Alguacil, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, joined the Giants as a roving infield instructor in 2007 and held that role for eight years prior to being appointed as Richmond’s manager in 2015. He managed the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats in 2016 before being named to the major league staff the following year.

In four total seasons as a manager, Alguacil has compiled a 198-233 record.

Kline will return for his fourth season as Richmond’s pitching coach, having served in the same role from 2015-2017.

Under Kline’s direction, the Richmond pitching staff led the Eastern League in ERA (3.12) in 2015, which still stands as a franchise record, and the team ranked second in ERA (3.48) in the circuit in 2016. Fifteen of the pitchers Kline led in his previous tenure with Richmond have gone on to pitch in the majors.

Kline spent the next two seasons as the pitching coach for Triple-A Sacramento from 2018-2019. Prior to his first stint in Richmond, he was the pitching coach for the Single-A Augusta GreenJackets for six years.

As a player, Kline was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the eighth round in 1993 out of West Virginia University and went on to spend 11 years in the majors with the Indians (1997), Expos (1997-2000), Cardinals (2001-2004), Orioles (2005) and Giants (2006-2007), going 34-39 with a 3.51 ERA and 39 saves. The left-hander appeared in 796 MLB games and led the majors in appearances three consecutive seasons from 1999-2001. His 89 appearances in 2001 for St. Louis stood at the time as a record for the most games pitched in a season by a left-hander.

Clark joins the Flying Squirrels for his first season as the team’s hitting coach and his seventh year with the Giants organization. He spent the 2019 season as the hitting coach for the short-season Single-A Salem-Kaiser Volcanoes. Clark began his coaching career in the rookie-level Arizona League in 2015. He was the hitting coach for Single-A Augusta in 2016 and spent the next two seasons a hitting coach with the Giants in the Arizona League.

An outfielder during his playing career, Clark was drafted by the Giants in the seventh round in 1998 out of UMass Amherst. He played 17 total professional seasons, including stops in the majors with the Giants in 2005 and the Oakland Athletics in 2006. In 2004 with Norwich, Clark was selected as an Eastern League All-Star. He concluded his stateside career in 2007 with the Richmond Braves. From 2008-2015, he played for teams in Korea and Mexico.

Davenport joins the Richmond staff for his 18th year with the Giants organization. He was the Flying Squirrels’ fundamentals coach in 2018. Davenport joined the Giants organization as a roving instructor in 2004 before spending 2005 as San Jose’s hitting coach. From 2006-2007, he was the hitting coach for the Connecticut Defenders, which was the Giants’ Double-A outfit in the Eastern League at the time. He returned to San Jose for five seasons from 2008-2012 before managing the short-season Salem-Keizer Volcanoes from 2013-2014 followed by three years as a roving instructor from 2015-2017. He spent the 2019 campaign as the fundamentals coach for San Jose.

Drafted by the Giants in the 27th round in 1981 out of Santa Clara University, Davenport played parts of three professional seasons in the San Francisco organization. He has also worked instructing baseball overseas in South Africa and Italy.

Havig returns for his third overall season as the Flying Squirrels’ athletic trainer. He originally served in that role with Richmond in 2017 before spending 2018 as the Giants’ Assistant Coordinator of Minor League Medical, a position he still holds alongside his Richmond duties. He was the Flying Squirrels’ athletic trainer again in 2019. Now in his 12th season with the organization, Havig joined the Giants in 2010 as the athletic trainer for the rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League. He joined Salem-Keizer the following season, spent the 2012-13 seasons with Augusta and the next three years with San Jose.

Palazzolo joins the Flying Squirrels’ staff after spending three seasons as the strength and conditioning coach for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes from 2017-2019. Now in his fifth year with the Giants organization, Palazzolo previously served in strength and conditioning roles with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins organizations.

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.

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Art Meets Exercise with the RVA Street Art Run by Sports Backers

The shirt alone is reason enough to get up and get running.

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It’s no secret that we’ve got a few murals around Richmond. Sports Backers wants to take advantage of that situation and is has organized the RVA Street Run.

We’re lucky to have a variety of vibrant murals that make our community pop and bring life to all areas. Join us as we celebrate these colorful creations with the virtual RVA Street Art Run! We’ll supply routes, and you pick and choose when and where you explore! Get some fresh air, discover something new, and have a colorful time! All participants receive a limited-edition street art inspired shirt designed by Mickael Broth aka the Night Owl.

Cost $22

Includes

  • Limited edition shirt designed by Mickael Broth
  • Suggested routes throughout the city

How it works:

  • Register through April 11
  • Run or walk along one of our street art courses (remember to follow social distancing guidelines!)
  • We will mail you your shirt

Brag about your race:

  • Snap a photo and sent it to us, or tag @sportsbackers on social media. Use #RVAStreetArtRun and together we’ll make social distancing feel not quite as isolating!

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Events

Dominion Energy Charity Classic surpasses $5.1 million generated for local charity since tournament’s debut

Tournament officials announced recently that the 2020 Dominion Energy Charity Classic helped generate more than $1.5 million for charities in the Richmond and Henrico County region, bringing the tournament’s total charitable impact to over $5.1 million since the event debuted in 2016.

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Tournament officials announced recently that the 2020 Dominion Energy Charity Classic helped generate more than $1.5 million for charities in the Richmond and Henrico County region, bringing the tournament’s total charitable impact to over $5.1 million since the event debuted in 2016.

The PGA TOUR Champions tournament, currently in its sixth year, is dedicated to giving back charitably in the local community, with a focus on military support. As a result of the 2020 event, the tournament distributed funds to the Virginia Veterans Services Foundation, the Richmond Fisher House and more than 100 additional non-profit organizations in Central Virginia.

“Five years in, we have averaged over $1 million a year for charitable organizations in the local area,” said Tom Farrell, executive chairman of Dominion Energy. “2020 was especially challenging for non-profits, so this announcement and its impact comes at a good time. We look forward to hopefully welcoming fans and players back to the area in October for what has become an exciting sports tradition.”

Each year, the Charity Classic offers area non-profit organizations the opportunity to participate in the Birdies for Charity program presented by TowneBank. This program provides participating 501(c)(3) organizations the ability to generate donations that the PGA TOUR bonuses by 10 percent. Some of the organizations that generated significant funds through the program in 2020 included Swim RVA, Richmond Ballet, Mission Gait, Louisa Arts Center, The Richmond Symphony and Boots to Suits.

“During a year that saw the world reeling from a pandemic, we were especially glad the tournament could continue to make a positive impact in our community,” said Executive Director Steve Schoenfeld. “Even without the ability to host spectators on site, the event was able to help generate charitable funds, which is a testament to the philanthropic mentality of the many local residents and corporations that support the tournament.”

“We are excited and grateful that the Virginia Veterans Services Foundation (VVSF) has again been chosen to be a recipient of the funds generated by the Dominion Energy Charity Classic,” said John Lesinski, VVSF Board Chair. “The charitable dollars generated by the Charity Classic over the past five years have made a major difference in our efforts to help our military veterans who need financial assistance, to find gainful civilian employment and to prevent homelessness throughout the Commonwealth and will again be used to accomplish our important mission to serve those who have served us.”

Since beginning in 2016, the Dominion Energy Charity Classic has received several accolades. In 2016, 2017 and 2019 the tournament received the Players Award for being voted the favorite event of the year by PGA TOUR Champions players. The 2018 Charity Classic won the Sales Award, recognizing the outstanding sponsorship support from the Richmond business community as well as the 10-year extension announcement with Dominion Energy and The Country Club of Virginia, solidifying professional golf in Richmond through 2029.

The 2021 event will return to The Country Club of Virginia, James River Course, October 21-24, with the top 72 players competing for a $2 million purse. Phil Mickelson is the defending champion.

For additional tournament information or to find out more about Birdies for Charity, please visit www.deccgolf.com.

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Sports

Photos and Game Summary: Wolfpack Gets the Rams

The Rams fall 2-1 to the visitors from North Carolina.

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Official VCU Game Summary

Final Score: NC State 2, VCU 1
Location: Richmond, Va. (Sports Backers Stadium)
Records: VCU: 3-1-1, NC State 4-0-1

THE SHORT STORY
Junior Ana Bagley’s goal in the in the 44th minute was not enough for VCU Women’s Soccer as the Rams fell 2-1 to NC State Sunday afternoon at Sports Backers Stadium.

QUICK FACTS

  • Bagley’s goal was her second of the season
  • VCU totaled seven shots in the game
  • The Wolfpack recorded 13 shots and placed eight on goal
  • Rams’ junior goalkeeper tallied four saves all of which came in the first half
  • NC State possessed the ball for 62% of the game

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • With the game scoreless in the final minute of the first half, senior Karen Lohrmann struck a cross into the center of the NC State box. Bagley came flying in and headed the ball into the right side of the net to give the Rams a 1-0 lead before the break
  • In the 63rd minute, NC State senior Mikhail Johnson received a pass from sophomore Jameese Joseph. Johnson sidestepped a VCU defender and found the back of the net to even the score
  • Wolfpack freshman Cara Elmendorf scored the game-winning goal in the 79th minute
  • The Rams had a chance to take back the lead in the 75th minute, but a cross by redshirt-junior Ellen McAdams narrowly missed the right foot of forward Samantha Jerabek
  • VCU put pressure on the NC State back line to open the second half. The Rams fired four shots in the opening ten minutes, but were unable to convert

WHAT’S NEXT
The Rams will be back at Sports Backers Stadium on Saturday to face Virginia in the sixth game of their eight-game season-opening homestand. The match is scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m. will be available for live stream on ESPN+.

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