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Virginia Tech Hokies Drop 2 to the Blue Devils but Win Game 1

There was baseball in Blacksburg this weekend. The Hokies split a double header with Duke, and narrowly lost a close game on Sunday. Kit Sheetz shined. Packy Naughton had a quality start and almost netted a W. We won't talk much about Game 2, will we? Game 1: W 3-2, Game 2: L 19-9; Game 3: L 3-1

Pitching Hard - Two good games from the mound.
Pitching Hard - Two good games from the mound.
Picture Courtesy of Dave Knachel - Virginia Tech Athletics

In a season of disappointments and struggles, bright spots are all that a fan looks for; ask any Cub or Met fans about them.   This weekend was all about football with the Spring Game and 44,700 people showing up at Lane Stadium to see the Orange and Maroon Game.  There was still baseball happening, though.  Bad weather on Friday night forced a noon start for a double header on Saturday.

Kit Sheetz and Packy Naughton were those bright lights that shined on breezy Blacksburg Saturday and Sunday afternoons (even though Tech lost a tight game on Sunday).  Both Game 1 and Game 3 turned out to be flat out pitchers' duels.   There is a little piece of me that doesn't even want to mention Game 2.

Virginia Tech Hokies vs Duke University Blue Devils - Game 1: (W: 2-1)

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

Duke (21-18, 7-12)

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

2

6

0

Virginia Tech (13-26, 4-15)

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

1

3

7

1

W: Kit Scheetz (4-4)    L: Jack Labosky (0-4)

Virginia Tech Hokie Box Score for Game 1 on Saturday April 23rd:

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

PO

A

LOB

Saige Jenco CF

4

0

1

0

0

0

3

0

2

Tom Stoffel DH

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

Logan Bible PR

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Phil Sciretta 1B

4

0

0

0

0

1

4

0

0

Nick Anderson LF

4

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

Sam Fragale 3B

2

1

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

Ryan Tufts SS

2

1

1

0

0

0

4

1

0

Joe Freiday, Jr. C

2

0

0

0

0

1

7

1

0

Garrett Hudson PH

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

Andrew Mogg C

1

0

1

1

0

0

1

0

0

Matt Dauby 2B

2

0

1

0

0

0

3

2

0

Rahiem Cooper RF

3

0

2

1

0

1

3

0

1

Kit Scheetz P

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Totals

26

3

7

3

2

3

27

4

5

Doubles: Anderson, Tufts, Mogg

RBIs: Hudson, Mogg,  Cooper

Clutch RBI: Cooper

Sacrifice Flies: Hudson

The first duelists of the weekend were the previously mentioned Kit Sheetz for the Hokies, and Kellen Urbon for the Blue Devils.  Neither pitcher gave up much during the first 2 innings; Sheetz gave up a leadoff single in the 1st, but shut the door hard.  Urbon didn't allow much with Tech's opening inning stranding Saige Jenco on 3rd.  Urbon and the Devils (Is that a Bluegrass Band?) were again challenged with two singles and two Hokies on base (Cooper and Dauby) in the bottom of the 3rd, but a double play and a fly out killed any chance at a run.

Duke threatened for the first time in the top of the sixth, but went nowhere.  Tech put two on the board and sent Urbon to the dugout in the bottom of the 7th inning with a hitting flurry that was enhanced by two hit batters.  Urbon's control had flagged so Duke changed pitchers but Rahiem Cooper singled in Ryan Tufts for the second run of the inning.

The top of the 9th provided a nail biter with Kit Sheetz making his only two mistakes of the game.  He lost some control (9 full innings will do that to a young arm), and hit a batter.  The next man up cleared him off the bases and the game was tied.  Sheetz regained his control long enough to close the door on the inning with the game knotted up.

The bottom of the 9th, Sam Fragale worked a walk, Ryan Tufts sacrifice bunted him to second base, and Andrew Mogg doubled him home for the 1 out walk off.

Game 2 was another pitching melt down scoring flurry that even with 9 runs across the plate, Tech managed to lose by 10 runs.  Commentary isn't really necessary past the box scores being listed.  Maybe noting that the Hokes burned through 6, mostly relief pitchers (possibly on purpose to save the rotation) but the shelling was still disappointing.

Virginia Tech Hokies vs Duke University Blue Devils - Game 2: (L: 19-9)

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

Duke (22-18, 8-12)

4

6

2

2

3

1

1

0

0

19

19

1

Virginia Tech (13-27, 4-16)

4

0

1

1

0

0

1

0

2

9

19

1

W: Bailey Clark (4-4)    L: Nic Enright (0-2)

Virginia Tech Hokie Box Score for Game 2 on Saturday April 23rd:

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

PO

A

LOB

Saige Jenco CF

3

1

0

0

1

2

2

0

3

Logan Bible PH/CF

2

0

0

0

0

2

2

0

0

Ryan Tufts SS

6

0

3

1

0

1

3

2

0

Phil Sciretta 1B

6

2

3

2

0

1

9

0

4

Nick Anderson LF

5

1

3

0

0

0

3

0

1

Sam Fragale 3B

4

2

2

3

0

1

1

3

1

Stevie Mangrum DH

5

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

1

Andrew Mogg C

5

0

2

0

0

1

3

1

0

Matt Dauby 2B

3

0

1

0

0

1

0

3

0

Garrett Hudson 2B

2

2

2

0

0

0

1

2

0

Rahiem Cooper RF

3

0

1

1

0

1

3

0

2

Mac Caples PH/RF

2

1

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

Connor Coward P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Nic Enright P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Paul Hall, Jr. P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Cole Kragel P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Andrew McDonald P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Ryan Lauria P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Totals

46

9

19

9

1

13

27

11

12

Doubles: Anderson,(2), Fragale

Home Runs: Sciretta, Fragale, Caples

RBIs: Tufts, Sciretta (2), Fragale (3), Cooper, Caples (2)

Clutch RBIs: Tufts, Cooper

Sacrifice Flies: Fragale

Men Left on Base: 12

Game 3 on a Sunny Sunday afternoon in Blacksburg looked more like Game 1.  Packy Naughton got a quality start lasting until the 7th inning when Jon Woodcock took the mound in relief.  Naughton got in a tight jam with two singles and a walk that generated loaded bases.  He managed a KO and line out before issuing an RBI walk.  He got out of the inning with that minimal 1 run damage, and managed to keep Duke to that score until the top of the 6th when a mixture of control issues and Duke small ball put two more up.

Virginia Tech Hokies vs Duke University Blue Devils - Game 3: (L: 3-1)

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

Duke (23-18, 9-12)

0

1

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

3

8

1

Virginia Tech (13-28, 4-17)

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

7

0

W: Brian McAfee (6-3)    L: Packy Naughton (2-6)

Virginia Tech Hokie Box Score for Game 3 on Sunday April 24th:

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

PO

A

LOB

Saige Jenco CF

4

0

2

0

0

0

2

0

0

Ryan Tufts SS

4

0

1

0

0

0

3

4

1

Phil Sciretta 1B

4

1

1

0

0

1

8

1

2

Nick Anderson DH

4

0

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

Sam Fragale 3B

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Andrew Mogg C

4

0

1

0

0

0

8

0

0

Mac Caples LF

3

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

2

Matt Dauby 2B

2

0

0

0

0

1

4

1

0

Rahiem Cooper RF

2

0

0

0

0

2

1

0

0

Garrett Hudson PH

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Logan Bible RF

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Packy Naughton P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Jon Woodcock P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Totals

31

1

7

1

0

5

27

9

5

Double: Sciretta

RBI: Anderson

Sacrifice Bunts: Jenco

In hindsight it would have been nice to have had some of the sticks from Saturday's game 2 loss show up on Sunday.  Packy pitched a good game, and it would have been nice to see him get some credit for a win, it was a quality start for him.

The remainder of the 2016 season is going to be a character builder, with a large shovel of hope and looking for those bright shiny diamonds amid all of the coal.  Kit Sheetz pitched a gem and there was enough offense to back him up with an exciting walk off.  Game two goes in the record books and filed under the "batting stats only" header.  Packy Naughton deserved a bit more offense to get him a win after that good a start, but ultimately Tech produced a win ratio that reflects its season average.

Baseball is for grinders, and there are Mets fans that were thrilled at the run last season; and Cub fans suddenly have something to give them some hope for something to break the sport's longest championship drought.   Virginia Tech Hokie baseball fans will have to hang on for next season.  In the mea time we are Hokies and we are Virginia Tech.

GO HOKIES!!!!