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March 5, 2013Sign-up for HokieHaven.com Wireless Text Alerts sent right to your cell phone!
Virginia Tech remained in the Baseball America top 25 this week after going 4-1 during a very busy week. The Hokies are now 11-2 heading into the ACC opener this weekend in Blacksburg against No. 14 Georgia Tech. Let's check out the week that was in Virginia Tech baseball.
The Week In Review
Wednesday - Game 9: 14-10 W over Radford
This is a classic mid-week, early season game. The pitching is sub-par, the hitting is above average, and everything else is just plain sloppy. The Hokies had this one under control after pouring in nine runs during the bottom of the second, mostly off of ground balls.
Virginia Tech pushed the lead to 14-3 after a sixth inning in which Mark Zagunis contributed two RBI doubles. However, from that point on the Highlanders tried to mount a comeback against Tech's relief pitchers. Midweek games are an interesting time for coaches as they try to manage the importance of getting a victory with getting younger players, particularly pitchers, experience and work.
Radford scored a run in the seventh inning and then six in the eighth to make this one semi-interesting. Freshman right-hander Tim Kelly struggled the most, surrendering five runs in 0.2 innings of work in his collegiate debut. He'll get better though as these midweek games are exactly the kind of games for players like Kelly to gain experience in. Center fielder Andrew Rash and second baseman Matt Dauby each drove in three runs for the Hokies.
Friday - Game 10: 7-3 W over Rhode Island
The Hokies were tested Friday afternoon by a previously winless Rhode Island team. The game was tied at three after six innings after the Rams scored two on a throwing error by shortstop Alex Perez and another on a fielder's choice.
Virginia Tech scored its three runs on a Sean Keselica single, a Chad Pinder single, and a Brendon Hayden fielder's choice. However, the Hokies decisively took control of the game in the seventh inning thanks to a double by Pinder, a two-RBI single by left fielder Tyler Horan, and an RBI double by Rash.
Tanner McIntyre started for the Hokies but lasted just 3.1 innings while giving up three on six hits. It was the effort from Tech's bullpen that got them the win this game, as Hayden, Jake Joyce, and Clark Labitan combined to throw 5.2 innings of shutout ball.
Friday - Game 11: 8-2 W over Ohio
This game featured all of its action early, as the Hokies scored two in the first inning, three in the second, and two in the third before tacking on an extra in the sixth to take a relatively easy 8-2 victory over the Bobcats. Zagunis stayed hot with a two-RBI double in the first and an RBI-double in the sixth, while Hayden homered in the second, Keselica added an RBI-triple in the second and Rash drove in two with a double in the third.
Catcher Chad Morgan added an RBI single of his own in the third inning. Starter Eddie Campbell was fantastic on the bump for the Hokies, striking out ten batters over seven innings while allowing just two hits. Freshman Luis Collazo and Maryland transfer Gary Schneider closed out the victory with a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively.
Saturday - Game 12: 3-0 L to Notre Dame
This was a pitcher's dual between one of Virginia Tech's best (Brad Markey) and one of Notre Dame's best (Adam Norton). Norton threw a complete game, shutting out the potent Hokies offense while striking out five batters. Markey wasn't much worse, as he surrendered runs solely off the bat of Notre Dame first baseman Trey Mancini.
Mancini hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning and added a RBI single in the eighth. Markey struck out seven over eight innings. Virginia Tech's offense generated just four hits on the day, one each for the first four batters in the lineup (Schneider, Keselica, Pinder, Zagunis).
Sunday - Game 13: 7-3 W over Tennessee
The Hokies rebounded Sunday with a quality 7-3 victory over the Volunteers, using big innings offensively in the third and eighth to notch their 11th victory of the young season. Tyler Horan ripped a based loaded triple to plate three and Rash followed it up with a single of his own to make it 4-0 Virginia Tech.
The Vols pulled within one over the middle innings thanks to a RBI single in the third inning, a RBI single in the fourth, and a two-RBI double in the fifth. However, the Hokies pushed withstood the pressure and pushed back with three in the eighth off a based loaded walk and a two-RBI single by Keselica. Virginia Tech got an outstanding effort from starter Devin Burke, who scattered six hits over 5.2 innings to move to 3-0 on the season. Joyce came on in relief of him and gave up just two hits over 3.1 innings to earn his second save of the season.
What We Learned From The Past Week/B>
This Offense Can Be Stopped:
Norton shut down the Hokies on Saturday afternoon and proved that there will be times this year where Virginia Tech needs to be able to score and win a low-scoring ball game. Just about every ACC team has a very good Friday starter, meaning the Hokies will be tested every weekend just as they were against the Fighting Irish.
The Week Ahead
Mar. 6 - vs. William & Mary (English Field)
Mar. 8 - vs. Georgia Tech (English Field)
Mar. 9 - vs. Georgia Tech (English Field)
Mar. 10 - vs. Georgia Tech (English Field)
This week starts for the Hokies with a midweek non-conference game against William & Mary, who is 7-4 on the season. The Tribe do have an 11-2 win over Clemson this season. Expect a game similar to the Radford one from this past week as coach Pete Hughes saves his big guns for the ACC opener this weekend.
ACC play gets started late Friday afternoon against Georgia Tech, who is ranked No. 14 in the country by Baseball America. The Yellow Jackets are coming off a three-game sweep and have scored in double-digits in six straight games (per Baseball America), so this series could feature a ton of runs if both offenses show up. Friday's pitching matchup should be a good one as the Hokies will likely send Markey to the mound and the Yellow Jackets will send Buck Farmer, who struck out nine in six innings against Rutgers last weekend.
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