Mother nature wreaked havoc on the schedule this weekend, but Virginia Tech managed to squeeze in four games against three teams from Saturday-Monday. Despite dealing with the frigid and unpredictable Blacksburg weather, the Hokies took three out of four to move to 7-1 on the season.
This one started early Saturday morning with the first pitch being thrown at 11:03 local time and it certainly appeared like the bats needed time to wake up as well. The Hokies manufactured a run in the bottom of the first inning off a hit-by-pitch, steal, and an RBI single by
After Temple knotted the game at one in the fifth inning and took a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth inning, the Hokies immediately battled back with a run of their own on a double by first baseman
Trouble arose for the Hokies, however, after starter
Shortly after losing the first game of the season, the Hokies wasted no time in getting on the board against the visiting Crusaders. Virginia Tech put up three runs in the first inning thanks to an RBI single from catcher
After Holy Cross rallied for three in the third inning, Zagunis put the Hokies ahead again with a solo home run of his own in the bottom of the third. Holy Cross would score a run in both the fourth and fifth innings to grab a 5-3 lead. But, Virginia Tech pushed across three runs in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Rash, a based loaded walk, and later a wild pitch.
The Hokies' bullpen came up huge in this one as two-way standout
The Hokies pounded out 13 runs on 16 hits, including another home run by Horan and multi-RBI games by Pinder, Zagunis, Horan, and Keselica.
A long weekend finally came to an end with a 2:02 start in game two against Delaware on Monday afternoon. The Hokies survived three errors to take a 5-3 decision in which all the scoring came in two innings.
Virginia Tech scored twice in the third inning on RBI singles from Rash and Horan, only to have the Blue Hens take a 3-2 lead after two RBI singles and a bases loaded walk off Hokies starter
The story of the day though, was the performance of Burke, who threw 7.2 innings and gave up 3 runs (1 earned) for his second win of the season.
Granted it's been just two weekends, but if the Hokies continue to get strong efforts from their starters like Markey and Burke then they will be perfectly fine this season. Markey's performance in particular was encouraging because of the high number of strikeouts he recorded. Being able to miss that number of bats at any level is extremely impressive.
The only way to describe the weather in Blacksburg in mid-to-late February is unpredictable. It can be anywhere from cold to rainy to windy to icy at any point. One day last week the morning started with some pretty heavy snow, giving way to mild temperatures during the day before a rainstorm rolled in during the late afternoon. This unpredictable weather led to a mess of a weekend in terms of scheduling, which always creates some tension among baseball players and coaches who just want a routine.
Feb. 27 - vs. Radford (English Field)
Mar. 1 - vs. Rhode Island (Cary, Nc.)
Mar. 1 - vs. Ohio (Cary, Nc.)
Mar. 2 - vs. Notre Dame (Cary, Nc.)
Mar. 3 - vs. Tennessee (Cary, Nc.)
Virginia Tech, which fell from No. 24 to 25 in this week's Baseball America poll, welcomes neighboring Radford Wednesday afternoon for a 3 p.m. start at English Field. The Highlanders are coming in hot at 5-1 with five straight wins, including a three game sweep of Kennesaw State over the weekend.
This weekend the Hokies will play in a multi-team tournament in Cary, NC that is headlined by the Hokies, No. 22 Notre Dame, and Tennessee. The Hokies will also play Ohio, who is 1-4 this season, and Rhode Island, who is 0-6.