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Hokies Split the Double Header with #3 Carolina, 4-9 and 8-4

Saturday was busy for your Baseball Hokies. It was a close scheduled double header, beautiful but windy weather, and a real need for a few quality wins to salvage the season. The Hokies came to play and earned a split.

Hokies Take the Field earlier this season
John Schneider - SB Nation

The first game of the final home stand for the baseball Hokies started off with a big "no-start". The weather in Blacksburg on Friday was atrocious, with rain, wind, and spots of lightning. So it was a Saturday double header to see if there was any hope for the Hokies to make the ACC Baseball Tournament which starts on May 23rd.

Virginia Tech Hokies vs North Carolina Tar Heels Game 1:

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

(3) North Carolina (40-9, 20-5)

0

2

0

1

1

2

0

0

3

9

9

1

Virginia Tech (21-28, 8-17)

1

0

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

4

7

1

Win: Rodney Hutchison Jr. (6-3) Loss: Connor Coward (5-3)

There was some hope and fire in the tough push of the Hokies who came dashing out of the gate for Game 1 with a rather emphatic Ryan Tufts home run to open the scoring. Connor Coward had held the Heels to a goose egg for the opening frame, so Tech had jumped out to an exciting and hopeful start.

Events wouldn’t stay that way, and the Tar Heels butted back hard in the top of the 2nd, Coward had some control problems in the beginning of the inning, hit one batter and walked another. The triple that he coughed up to Carolina Right Fielder Brandon Riley put Carolina on top but would prove an issue later with Riley having a near career game.

Well Connor was having a few fits, but that doesn’t mean that recently awakened Tech bats wouldn’t start having their way with the offensive side of the game versus North Carolina star pitcher J.B. Bukauskas (a Stone Bridge HS, Virginia product). The bottom of the 3rd proved a test for Mr. Bukauskas and one that would eventually have his head coach give him the hook with one out in the bottom of a very troubled 3rd inning. Six hits and all of Tech’s four runs would put the young pitcher back in the dugout, to be replaced by Rodney Hutchinson, Jr. Well Mr. Hutchinson pitched the final two outs of the 4th, and the 5th through 8th, without the Hokies managing to do more than connect with a single double by Sam Fragale in the bottom of the 7th.

In the meantime, Connor Coward finally had run out of arm and luck. He would fall behind by the 5th, and had to be pulled after struggling to get a single out. Tech put in Joey Sullivan to limit the one run damage, but he didn’t return for the top of the 7th. Packy Naughton (who has been moved to the bull pen and replaced with Kit Sheetz in the starting rotation) pitched 3 frames but couldn’t keep the game within striking distance. He gave up three in the top of the 9th, which iced the win for Carolina.

Tech had plenty of opportunities with 10 men left on the bags, and maybe that gave them some hope for Game 2, because the outcome was decidedly different.

Virginia Tech Hokies Box Score for May 14th (Game 1):

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

PO

A

LOB

Jack Owens 2B

5

0

1

0

0

0

1

4

0

Ryan Tufts SS

5

1

1

1

0

1

1

3

0

Tom Stoffel RF

5

1

2

1

0

0

1

0

0

Sam Fragale 1B

4

1

2

0

1

0

9

0

0

Nick Anderson DH

3

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

2

Mac Caples LF

3

0

1

1

1

1

2

0

0

Matt Dauby 3B

3

0

0

0

1

0

1

1

3

Marcus White C

3

0

0

0

0

2

9

0

2

JD Mundy PH

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

2

Joe Freiday, Jr. C

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Rahiem Cooper CF

3

1

0

0

1

1

2

0

1

Connor Coward P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Joey Sullivan P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Packy Naughton P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Totals

35

4

7

3

5

7

27

9

10

Doubles: Stoffel (2), Fragale

Home Run: Tufts

RBI: Tufts, Stoffel, Caples

Runs Not Scored by Leaving Guys Stranded: 10

Virginia Tech Hokies vs North Carolina Tar Heels Game 2:

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

(3) North Carolina (40-10, 20-6)

1

0

1

0

1

0

1

0

0

4

11

0

Virginia Tech (22-28, 9-17)

3

0

3

0

1

1

0

0

X

8

12

1

Win: Kit Scheetz (4-2) Loss: Luca Dalatri (5-3)

There wasn’t much of a breather for the players between games. Game 1 had barely wrapped, Game 1 had finished at just before 3:00 PM. Game 2 started off only about 50 minutes later at 3:48. Maybe the sun and breeze, which had banished three and a half days of rain and clouds made a difference, but the rapid turnover had little negative effect on the Hokies.

Carolina jumped out to a one run lead in the first with a triple off of starting pitcher Kit Sheetz (remember him?) and a sacrifice fly. Kit would give up 4 earned runs over the next 6.1 innings but offense is magic tonic for every pitcher, and his 4 hit 4 run effort was more than enough to keep Carolina from regaining the lead after they lost it to Jack Owens and Tom Stoffel’s two homers and three runs. Tech would never lose the lead for the remainder of the game.

Sam Fragale continued to do Sam Fragale sorts of things, he doubled in a run in the bottom of the 3rd, and then scored when Nick Anderson stepped up to the plate to launch a ball over the left field wall. Sam would grab another RBI in the bottom of the 6th, and Tom Stoffel even assisted from the mound with a sterling 2 inning plus two out goose egg effort to close the door on the Heels.

Virginia Tech Hokies Box Score for May 14th (Game 2):

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

PO

A

LOB

Jack Owens 2B

5

1

3

1

0

0

0

4

1

Ryan Tufts SS

5

1

1

0

0

1

1

3

0

Tom Stoffel RF/P

3

2

2

2

1

1

2

0

2

Sam Fragale 1B

3

2

2

2

0

0

8

0

0

Nick Anderson DH/LF

4

1

1

2

0

0

0

0

2

Mac Caples LF/RF

4

0

1

1

0

0

1

0

0

Garrett Hudson 3B

3

0

0

0

0

3

0

1

0

Stevie Mangrum PH

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

Matt Dauby 3B

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Marcus White C

4

0

1

0

0

1

9

1

1

Rahiem Cooper CF

3

1

1

0

1

1

6

1

0

Kit Scheetz P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Joey Sullivan P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Totals

35

8

12

8

2

8

27

11

6

Doubles: Owens, J.; Stoffel, Fragale, Caples

Home Runs: Owens, Stoffel, Anderson

RBI: Owens, Stoffel, (2) Fragale (2), Anderson (2), Caples

Sacrifice Flies: Fragale

Stolen Base: Cooper

Score this many, and these guys left don’t matter as much: 6

The 3rd game of the series is getting underway Tech has proven they can win against one of the best teams in college baseball. Let’s see if they remember that, this afternoon.

See it live on ESPN.

GO HOKIES!!!!!