Why Hokie fans should care about Virginia Tech baseball

via www.hokiesports.com

I’ll be the first one to tell you that any sport where a crowd of 2,000 fans is a good day doesn’t really spark my interest.

I’ll also be the first to tell you that I’ll be a Hokie until I die. I’d let them bury me beneath Lane Stadium if they’d let me.

This clash of interests has always found me torn between caring about Virginia Tech baseball and…not caring

There are plenty of you out there who are likely the same way. Who cares about college baseball? It’s never on TV, the players aren’t that good, and even the ones that are pretty good won’t be relevant until they reach the major leagues in three to five years.

This year’s Tech baseball team has honestly changed my outlook on the sport.

Go to one game, I dare you.

Take a look at Austin Wates bat clean-up and steal bases like it’s his job.

Check out Steve Domecus and Tim Smalling find the gaps for RBI doubles better than Mike Breen says "Puts it in!" during an NBA on ESPN broadcast.

Bring a radar gun in the fanny pack, and whip it out just in time to catch a Jesse Hahn fastball hit triple-digit miles per hour velocity.

I never thought I’d say this, but these Hokies make watching college baseball…fun?

*Pinches self*

College baseball has made a bit of an upswing in popularity, thanks in large part to the birth of networks like ESPNU and CBS College Sports, among other channels devoted to airing college athletics.

The brand is growing, and I’m hopping on the train before it starts to get packed.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see the sport really grow in the next decade.

It’s not like minor league baseball, where let’s face it…nobody gives two you-know-whats about the team, every player is on the same goal, to put up good enough numbers to get a call-up.

What I realized while watching these games lately is something very important: it still is a college sport.

College sports are a different breed from everything else.

The players truly have no other goal besides winning a championship. Not for a ring, or a fat paycheck bonus, but for their school.

So if you have the chance, head over to English Field for a game before it’s too late. After this weekend, the Hokies have two more home series, and only one against a conference opponent.

Don’t let pre-formed expectations of the sport deter you now, because head coach Pete Hughes has something serious brewing in his program.

If you’re looking for good baseball, the ACC is like the SEC and Big 12 of football combined. Over 20 players from the ACC are among the top 50 collegiate players in the country.

A lot of teams have future big-time professionals filling out their lineup.

And get this.

The Hokies are beating them.

Florida State, Miami and Georgia Tech are three of the elite programs in the conference, and they all dropped series to the Hokies in the last month.

All they’d ask is that you give them a chance.

I did.

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