Hokies vs. Pitt: Game 2
The first game of the double header started off at the stroke of noon, Saturday. There is little doubt about how important this series was to the Hokies. The team had finally hit .500, and the match-up with Pitt was advantageous. Pitt is a really good ball team (10-3 for the start), but given the really excellent level of play (often far above our heads) in the bulk of the ACC schedule, Tech really needed to shine against this closer matched opponent.
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Game 2
|Pittsburgh (10-4, 0-2)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||5||0||2||10||1|
|Virginia Tech (8-7, 2-0)||0||0||0||1||0||2||0||0||X||3||8||0||3||8||1|
|W: Ian Seymour (2-1)|
|L: RJ Freure (2-1)|
|SV: Andrew McDonald (4)|
As I have often mentioned, most double headers split. It was critical if Tech wanted to win this series that they win the Friday game. That happened because of a sterling pitching performance by Connor Coward, and just enough offense to get enough of a lead to outlast the Pitt bats. The second game was very much like the first. Ian Seymour took the mound and managed a lead off ground out. Then he was tagged for put up a fat one on a 3-2 count. That Tater was the last run the Panthers would score in the game, too. It seems that the Hokies all decided not to be disheartened by the early homer. They all buckled down, and spent the remainder of the game keeping Pitt off the bags. There was a bit of a pinch in the top of the 6th. Pitt’s offense got warm by drawing some walks (one intentional) but Seymour pitched himself clear and the defense helped him close out the inning.
Hokie Pitching Grid for Game 2
|Ian Seymour (W, 2-1)||7||4||1||1||2||10||1||124-77|
|Andrew McDonald (S, 4)||2||1||0||0||1||2||0||30-17|
Tech’s offense wasn’t really doing much better than Pitt’s before the bottom of the 4th, when some “interesting stuff” happened on the bases. Just an note is appropriate here, Tech’s offense is very different this season. It seems that Coach Szefc has a “run until they tag you out” sort of offensive style. More than a few runs have been generated by Tech’s offense by getting on base, and keeping things moving by swiping bags and looking to stretch the opponents’ defenses by challenging for additional bases on hits, and working the small ball game hard.
With 2 outs in the bottom of the 4th Cam Irvine got to 1st with a single. He pushed hard, and stole second base. Then he stayed on his toes to take advantage of a wild pitch, and parked himself on 3rd. Then something really weird happened that made all of that base stealing and pushing worth while. Luke Horanski struck out. Well the ball ended up nowhere near the catcher, so Horanski sprinted down to 1st to try to swipe that bag. (Remember the catcher has to catch the ball on a strike out!) Irvine waited just long enough the situation to clear, and scored from third. The catcher didn’t recover the ball and get it to first base or tag Irvine for the third out. Hokies knotted it up and never looked back.
The bottom of the 6th ended all scoring for the game. Virginia Tech’s firstbaseman JD Mundy blasted a shot over the left center wall (no mean feat on a breezy cold day) for the go ahead run. Then Darion Jacoby got a chance to show off some speed, and that new base running philosophy. He worked a walk. Then he stole second, got up, and promptly stole third. With one out, and a runner on 3rd, Jack Owens hammered a deep fly into right field, which was more than enough to have speedster Jacoby tag and cross the plate for the third and final run of the game.
The rest is pitching gold. Ian Seymour was finally pulled after 7 innings (124 pitches is a lot on a cold day) and Andrew McDonald (who seems to be settling in as the closer) notched the two inning goose egg for the save.
The win was satisfying. Coach Szefc won his 400th collegiate game. The Hokies won the series against Pitt, and Ian Seymour proved that he’s a reliable starter.
Hokies vs. Pitt: Game 3
There isn’t much to say about Game 2 of the DH. Well, actually there is probably too much to say. The Hokies did, indeed, lose. That stinks, but they did score 10 runs. It just wasn’t enough to grab the W from the Panthers for the sweep.
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Pittsburgh Panthers - Game 3 (Game 2 of the DH)
|Pittsburgh (11-4, 1-2)||0||0||0||5||4||3||2||1||0||15||16||1||2||10||1|
|Virginia Tech (8-8, 2-1)||0||2||0||3||4||0||0||0||1||10||11||4||3||8||1|
|W: TJ Pagan (1-0)|
|L: Dylan Hall (1-2)|
In this case the pitching summary says about all that can be said. I think that the Hokie Bird was in there for a match up, I cannot be sure.
Hokies Pitching Chart for Game 3
|Dylan Hall (L, 1-2)||0.2||2||2||2||1||0||0||19-9|
|Paul Hall, Jr.||0.1||2||2||2||0||1||0||13-9|
Suffice it to say there was serious lumber being thrown around for this one. Four errors certainly didn’t help all that much, and the offense just sort of ran out of gas by the 6th, and that just couldn’t keep the W in the Hokies’ column.
The highlight chart shows some of the good stuff, but it also presents a game that Sam Fragale might rather forget. He went 0 for 5 from the plate, and had a fielding burp. That’s why baseball is such a team sport. Some days your teammates just have to pick you up. All truly good players have those sorts of days. Tuesday Sam will get another chance to excel.
Triples: Stoffel (2); Freiday
RBI: Owens, J.; Irvine (2); Stoffel (4); Mundy, J.; Freiday, Jr.; Owens, N.
Clutch RBI: Irvine (2); Stoffel (3)
Sacrifice Flies: Owens, N.
Runners Stranded: 11
Wednesday, the pesky and capable Bryant Bulldogs visit for a single game drive through. We haven’t met since 2011, and they hold a one game edge on us over the years; 3-4. We need to get back over .500, and get our non conference record back to .500. Wednesday is the time to get that done.