Perhaps it was naive to think Virginia Tech baseball could have made a run and win 4-straight games in the Blacksburg Regional. After being served with a humble pie in the loss to Connecticut on Friday followed by nice rebound wins over Coastal Carolina and Connecticut, it was Oklahoma who took the Blacksburg Regional.
We all have been there before. We all, at various times in our lives, have dealt with disappointments when we failed to live up to expectations. It happens. Whether we get dumped by a girl for another beau or being eliminated from a basketball tournament as an 8 seed one year, and then as a 4th seed the next, it is all how we learn from it.
All things considered: Virginia Tech successfully hosted the Blacksburg Regional. It would have been nice for the Hokies to win the Regional. It would have cemented them among college baseball's truly elite teams in 2013. Alas, mistakes did them in. Players reportedly were in tears because they wanted to win the Regional so bad, and unfortunately they came up short.
Tech will be losing some standout players, but there are talents coming back next spring. Head coach Pete Hughes is already working hard to recruit the next group of players to fit his vision of Hokies sluggers.
Kudos to Pete Hughes for his lobbying effort that gave Blacksburg the bid. Kudos to Hokies' football coach, Frank Beamer, for buying up tickets and donating them to the athletics department personnel. Kudos to the fans who showed up and chanted the familiar refrain, "LET'S GO...HOKIES!"
Above all, kudos to the baseball players who gave it all they could muster, and handling the loss with grace.
It is a bitter pill to swallow, but it is also a powerful motivation tool to get better. The games showed that Virginia Tech can play baseball with the big boys. It is a matter of developing the mental toughness to not crack under pressure in the future. It is a matter of fine tuning strategies. It is a matter of the continuance of honing individual skills and making them work together in concert with the rest of the team.
Most importantly, the hosting of the Regional gave Virginia Tech baseball exposure, and that little nugget can go a long way. What is important now for the baseball team is to further build up the fan base with goodwill and earning their respect through the type of play that got them this far. The big win will come someday.
Until then, dry those tears, learn from the mistakes and build on them. Adversity is what makes us all stronger and humble.
For more coverage of Virginia Tech baseball, both on the team this year and for 2014, Gobbler Country is your #1 source for Virginia Tech sports news.