Kevin C. Cox
Virginia Tech's baseball team opened the season today on the road in Wilmington, N.C., defeating Kent State 10-9. The Hokies finished the 2012 season with a overall 35-21 record and an 11-19 mark in ACC play.
It's that time of year again as college baseball starts back up. We've got a brief preview for you, looking back at last season first.
2012 Season Review
The Hokies started the season strongly, winning 12 of 14 games, including a win over No. 27 Virginia in extra innings. Tech then dropped the next two games to Virginia and went a lackluster 7-8 over the next 15. Tech then swept Boston College (oddly, all three games were 8-4 finals), downed Radford, and took two-of-three from No. 6 Miami. The Hokies finished out the season with a 9-8 record over their last 17 games, putting them at 35-21 (11-19) for the season.
Tyler Horan led the Hokies in homeruns and RBI last year, with 15 and 41 respectively. Catcher Mark Zagunis led the Hokies in batting average (among players participating in the good majority of games) with a .344 average. From the mound, Tanner McIntyre led the team in ERA (2.32) and wins (7)--all in relief work. Among starters, Joe Mantiply's five wins and 3.53 ERA were tops.
2013 Season Preview
2013 will be an interesting year for the Hokies, as they have to replace several starters from a year ago. However, they do return their top sluggers, Horan and Zagunis, as well McIntyre and Mantiply on the mound. Joining Horan and Zagunis as returning producers on offense are 3B Chad Pinder and CF Andrew Rash.
The Hokies play the majority of their toughest games at home this year, including four series against preseason top-30 teams. The home season highlights are listed below.
Schedule highlights :
- No. 21 Georgia Tech (March 8-10)
- No. 11 Florida State (March 29-31)
- No. 2 North Carolina (April 12-14)
- No. 30 Virginia (April 26-28)
- Wake Forest (May 16-18)
My expectations: I expect the Hokies to finish with a record similar to last season, but there's also a good chance that they'll improve with key chunks of the line-up returning. Also, I plan on doing recaps of each series (given that I have the time) for the season, so keep coming back.