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September 25, 2018

Athletics Set to Induct 2018 Hall of Fame Class

Five Highlander legends set to receive highest honors at Nov. 16 ceremony

Author: Quinn Roberts
September 25, 2018

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The UC Riverside Athletics Department is pleased to announce its 2018 Athletics Hall of Fame inductees. Scheduled to receive the highest honors during the induction ceremony on Nov. 16 at the Historic Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in downtown Riverside are Larry Cunningham (men's basketball), David Finley (baseball), Fred Morawczski (football), Melissa Sanchez (softball), and the 1982 baseball team.

Cunningham, who played basketball for the Highlanders from 2004-08, is still the program's all-time leading scorer with 1,502 points. He averaged more than 10 points per game in each of his four seasons and scored an average of 16.3 points per game during his senior year.

Finley, a two-year starter on the baseball team (1986-87), had a .413 batting average in 1986, which still stands as the sixth-highest single season batting average in school history. A year later in 1987, Finley was drafted in the 27th round by the Oakland A's. He would go on to play two years of professional baseball for the Medford A's, the Madison Muskies, and the Modesto A's.

Morawcznski may have played just two years for the football team (1968-69), but he holds the career rushing record with 1,035 yards. During the final game of his collegiate career in 1969, Morawcznski ran wild on UC Davis, gashing the Aggies for four touchdowns en route to setting a school record for touchdowns in a game.

Sanchez, a standout on the softball team from 2003-06, is in the Highlanders' top-10 all-time for batting average, games played, hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs, slugging, and on-base percentage. Her 26 home runs and 116 RBIs for the Highlanders rank first all-time. Also, Sanchez earned three Big West All-Conference first team honors along with one Big West All-Conference second team selection.

The 1982 baseball team overcame early season challenges, including dropping six of their first eight games, and recovered quickly that year, winning 19 of their final 23 games on the way to capturing a Division II National Championship. UCR was led by All-Americans Curtis Smith and Matt Held, who hit .378 and .341, respectively. On the mound, Scott Wanzer went 13-6 with 17 complete games, and Bill Mierzwik had a 10-5 record. Manager Jack Smitheran was named the Division II Coach of the Year, his second such national honor.

The Hall of Fame event at the Historic Mission Inn Hotel & Spa is open to the public. Doors open at 5:00 p.m.

To purchase tickets, click here, or call 951-827-5432.

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