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May 7, 2012Virginia Tech had a bye weekend this weekend, meaning it was a slow weekend for the Hokies on the diamond. It was a slow weekend for the ACC general, as there were only two inter-conference series taking place. In the two games the Hokies did play, they rolled to a combined 24-0 shutout. Today, we recap those two games while also taking another look at the ACC Tournament.
Week In Review
Tuesday - 6-0 W over NC A&T
As expected, the visiting Aggies didn't put up much of a fight against the Hokies. Six Virginia Tech pitchers, led by starter Brendon Hayden, held NC A&T to just four hits in the shutout victory.
Hayden, a freshman who is quickly becoming a top two-way standout for the Hokies, threw four innings and allowed just one hit. Tech put a four-spot up in the bottom of the first, scoring runs of a Mark Zagunis RBI double, Andrew Rash RBI single, and Tyler Horan two run home run.
Tech was held in check the rest of the day by Aggie starter Ruben Torrelas until the eighth inning, when Sean Keselica hammered a two run double to take the 6-0 lead.
Wednesday - 18-0 W over VMI
Things got out of hand quickly when Tech's old neighboring rival came to visit, as the young Keydets simply couldn't compete with the Hokies.
The Hokies jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning on four RBI singles by Ronnie Shaban, Andrew Rash, Chad Pinder and Chad Morgan. The Hokies hit three solo home runs in the fourth, with Tyler Horan kicking things off before Andrew Rash and Chad Pinder hit back-to-back bombs a few batters later.
The Hokies tacked on eight more in the 6th to make it a 16-0 game and scored two more in the bottom of the eighth to take it to the final score. Patrick Scoggin got the start and threw five quality innings, striking out four and surrendering just two hits. Devin Burke, Manny Matir, Colin O'Keefe, and Ricky Hodges combined to handle the final four innings and gave up just three hits.
The Approaching ACC Tournament
Last week when we examined what the tourney would look like, the Hokies were battling Georgia Tech for the 7th seed to stay away from Florida State in the tournament. The scenario remains the same today after a largely uneventful weekend, with the Hokies not playing and the Yellow Jackets playing a non-conference series against Charlotte.
Aside from Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Boston College, and Maryland are all hoping to sneak in during these final two weekends to snag one of the lower seeds. Above the Hokies, it seems like their realistic ceiling right now is the 6-seed, which would involve them leapfrogging Miami. To get you ready to follow the scoreboards over the course of the next two weekends, let's look at the slate for each team.
Miami (12-12) - vs. Wake Forest, at Georgia Tech
Virginia Tech (10-14) - vs. NC State, at North Carolina
Georgia Tech (10-14) - at Virginia, vs. Miami
Wake Forest (9-15) - at Miami, vs. Clemson
Boston College (9-18) - Out of conference, vs. Duke
Maryland (8-18) - Bye, vs. Virginia
Maryland and Boston College need sweeps and a lot of help to sneak, so they have to be considered the long shots here. Miami has the biggest two weekends, as both of the series they play are against teams trying to run them down, but they also have a two game advantage on GT and a three game advantage on Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons seem to have the best shot to knock the Hokies out of the tournament, especially with their recent series victory, but they would need to take three out of the next six while hoping the Hokies only take two from their next six.
The Week Ahead
Friday May 11th-Sunday May 13th - vs. NC State
The Hokies will take the whole week off to prepare for this crucial home series and will be entering Friday with eight days of rest.
The Wolfpack are a terrific team (33-12 overall) and were ranked 17th in the country prior to this past weekend. They currently are riding a nine-game winning streak and it will be ten when they roll into Blacksburg after their mid-week game with NC A&T this week.
NC State has a handful of terrific pitchers, namely Friday starter Anthony Tzamtzis (5-3, 2.77 ERA) and Saturday starter Carlos Rodon (8-0, 1.42 ERA).
Rodon, a freshman, has dominated the competition this year and really pushed the Wolfpack to another level. He is a strike out machine, registering 12 in a recent start against Duke and fanning 97 batters (just 21 walks) in 82.1 innings of work this year. For the Hokies to win this series, they are going to have to play the best they have played all year.
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