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Ritchie denies interest in GW job

BY STEVE DeSHAZO

Pittsburgh Pirates batting coach Gregg Ritchie said he is not a candidate for the coaching vacancy at his alma mater, George Washington University.

“I’m a Pirate,” Ritchie said in a phone interview Monday. “I have nothing on my mind except the last 40 games and to continue what we’ve been doing.”

Ritchie, a Stafford County native, was an All-America outfielder at George Washington and led the nation in batting average as a senior in 1986. He was inducted into the Colonials’ athletic hall of fame in 1999.

The Colonials fired Steve Mrowka in April after eight seasons and hired former University of Mary Washington coach Tom Sheridan as associate head coach 11 days ago.

Collegebaseballinsider .com reported at the time that G.W. plans to fill the head coaching vacancy this fall. The website said the school is negotiating with a coach currently involved in professional baseball—leading to speculation that Ritchie might be that man, especially since he and Sheridan are longtime friends.

Instead, Ritchie said he’s focused on helping the Pirates reach the postseason for the first time since 1992. Entering play Monday night, they held a one-game lead over San Francisco for the National League’s second wild-card spot.

Echoing a report in The Pittsburgh Post–Gazette, Ritchie said he’s spoken with G.W. athletic department officials in an advisory capacity but hasn’t interviewed for the job—and doesn’t plan to do so.

“I have one job,” Ritchie said, “getting to the playoffs and winning in the playoffs.”

Steve DeShazo: 540/374-5443

sdeshazo@freelancestar.com

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