Game 1 :: versus No. 3 Virginia
Wednesday at about 3 p.m.
First up, the sixth-seeded Hokies will face their in-state rival Virginia. The Hokies took two of three from the Cavaliers this season as they nabbed both games of a doubleheader. As part of my day job, I usually end up writing about UVa baseball on a daily basis and I'll say this: they're damn good. Sure, they lost to Radford in a mid-week game, but I could pull out a bad loss from about every team in the ACC this year from a non-conference, mid-week game. Virginia has a potent offense from the lead-off batter to the ninth man. Add in some strong pitching and they're a tough team to beat.
That being said, I think the Hokies match-up really well against them and the fact that they're the school's biggest rival and each team is going to be able to get up and put on a good show.
Mike Papi is the biggest threat for this UVA offense that relies more on consistent hitting than power hitting. Papi leads the ACC in batting average with a sizzling .408 and a .669 slugging percentage. His 51 RBIs are second on the team to Brandon Downes and he has scored 54 runs in 142 at bats.
This game will be pretty big for figuring out just how well the Hokies are going to do in the tournament. If they are able to compete and build confidence with a win over the Cavaliers, they could very well win each of the remaining two games.
Game 2 :: versus No. 2 Florida State
Thursday at about 7 p.m.
Florida State enters the tournament as the number two overall seed, racking up a 44-11, 20-10 season. Virginia Tech took two of three from the then-No. 4 Seminoles back in late March. Tech was actually pretty close to sweeping the series, falling 11-10 in the first game of a doubleheader.
The Seminoles lost just one other series all season long, a three-game sweep by Virginia in mid April.
D.J. Stewart leads the Florida State offense, batting .328 on the season and racking up 21 doubles. His 51 RBIs are second on the team to Marcus Davis (not that Marcus Davis), who is probably the number two man in the line-up...arguably tied for first. Davis batted .312 with 52 RBIs and nine home runs on the year and crossed the plate 53 times.
Florida State's Scott Sitz is a the tough man on the mound, but given the short amount of time that the Seminoles could potentially play in four games, Sitz may be saved for a potential championship game.
This would be a tough one for the Hokies to win, but they've shown that they're able to do so.
Game 3 :: versus No. 7 Georgia Tech
Friday at 3 p.m.
Oddly enough, this was the only series amongst the pool teams that the Hokies lost. I say "oddly" because since Virginia Tech's win over the Yellow Jackets in the finale of the season series, the Ramblin' Wreck have recorded just a 19-21, 13-14 record. Series losses for the Yellow Jackets include Florida State, Duke, North Carolina State, Clemson, Coastal Carolina and Miami. However, Georgia Tech did pick up big series wins when it mattered, beating North Carolina and Virginia.
Don't be fooled though by that post Hokie series swoon, Georgia Tech has two of the ACC's top power hitters in Daniel Palka and Zane Evans. Buck Farmer is the ace of the staff, sporting a 2.80 ERA in 96 1/3 innings pitched. Farmer's second in the ACC in strikeouts with 104 and gave up 21 extra base hits over the course of the year.
Game 4 :: Pool A champion vs. Pool B champion
Sunday at 1 p.m.
Who do you think will be in this one?