When you lose an opener, you try your best to find something good. Maybe the game was close. Maybe only one pitcher got taken downtown too often. Could it be a tight game? How about the close call at home plate in the 9th that kept the tying run from scoring? No?
Virginia Tech Hokies vs Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
|Virginia Tech (0-1)||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||2||7||2|
|Coastal Carolina (1-0)||2||0||0||5||2||0||6||2||X||17||15||0|
No. This time nothing much jelled. Hokie Starting Pitcher Nic Enright took the loss, and only managed 3.1 innings before being pulled. Some of that short appearance should be attributed to this being the early part of the season, but that usually means four full or maybe five for a starter. Enright was shelled right out of the gate, giving up five hits, including three doubles and two home runs before Coach Szefc ran Ian Seymour in to try to save the inning. Enright would get two outs, but didn’t seem to manage the third. He walked two in the 1st inning along with tossing a ball into the backstop. There were a couple of innings, 2nd and 3rd, where he managed a goose egg but those were often struggles.
Well, Seymour didn’t even last the remainder of the 4th, giving up 2 additional runs. He was replaced by Gavin Hinchliffe, who fared even worse facing 2 batters and giving up two more runs. Ryan Metz finally closed out the 4th inning on a ground ball put out (fielder’s choice). With the score 7-0 it really didn’t look like the Hokies would get off the mat.
Coastal had a little bit of a tough time in the top of the 5th. Tech managed a manufactured run courtesy of the Stoffel/Fragale continuum each rapped a single and scored the lead off batter for the inning, Left Fielder Darion Jacoby who’d been hit by a pitch. Jacoby was plonked twice in this game.
Tech scored again, when Jack Owens singled and moved Tom Stoffel into scoring position after Stoffel reached on a fielder’s choice. Sam Fragale drove Stoffel in from third on a sac fly.
Those are the highlights. Tech would end up using a total of 7 relief pitchers only Graham Seitz managed to grab a goose egg with 2 strikeouts. Everyone else was tagged in some way. Paul Hall, Jr. closed it out, but gave up 3 runs in the process; 2 unearned runs one in the 7th, one in the8th and a home run in the bottom of the 8th.
All in all it was an extremely painful first outing for the Hokies, hopeful that new coaching and some new energy would change some of the issues from last season. Coastal Carolina is the real deal. The team won the 2016 College World Series, and dominates their league.
I didn’t expect Tech to win, but it would have been nice to see some settled starting pitching and a bit better hitting and base running. Two fielding errors didn’t help the situation much, but even with their football score 17 runs, the Chanticleers were too much to handle this time.
It’s going to be a serious rebuilding effort for Coach Szefc. It’ll get better, it has to after a 17-2 start.
Tomorrow at 4:30 the Hokies play South Alabama, which looks like a team closer to our level of play. Hopefully the butterflies have been knocked away.
(Note: The pitching roster review is coming. I want to see the result of the games this weekend before saying too much. At this point after 8 total pitchers in one game, my tongue is bleeding from biting it.)