The Hokies were in good form offensively on Tuesday March 12, for the start of the two game set against the Richmond Spiders who were 8-2 coming in to Blacksburg.
Game One started off at just after 4:00 PM EDT, on a lightly breezy sunny 53 degree day, and that suggested that the ball might be a bit less difficult to make contact with than on a windy winter day like we have been encountering.
Tech jumped on the ball and jumped in front after getting Richmond to hang a Zero in the top of the 1st inning. Starting Pitcher Luke Scherzer managed a KO and two fly outs to grab a three up/three down start.
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Richmond Spiders: Game 1
The Hokies lineup took to the batters boxes, and proceeded to load the bases with 2 walks bracketing a single. Tanner Thomas smacked a sacrifice fly that scored lead off batter Kerry Carpenter (proving that you almost always pay for a lead off walk) and then Carson Taylor scored on a Kevin Madden single. The inning petered out, but Tech had jumped out to a 2 point lead in the 1st.
Scherzer struggled a bit in the top of the second, giving back one 1 on a double and a single. Tech’s trip to the plate in the bottom of the 3rd would prove to be a real stunner. The Hokies batted around and chopped away with a bit of everything to push 4 runs across the plate to make the score 6-1 to start the 4th inning.
Tech’s offense look like it took a nap between the 4th and 7th innings. The middle third of the game belonged to the Spiders who nibbled away with a run here and two there to even the game up after 7 at 6 to 6. In the bottom of the 8th inning, the Hokies suddenly got serious on offense, again. They started to work at manufacturing a run as Nick Biddison singled, Nick Owens sacrificed him to 2nd, and then stuff got a little out of control for Richmond. Jack Owens walked, Ryan Teegarden walked (Richmond’s pitcher had thrown 8 straight Balls) to load the bases. Then Richmond’s catcher lost the handle and his passed ball error scored Biddison, then Tech picked up their 8th run on a sacrifice fly Kerry Carpenter.
Connor Yoder who had taken over in the 8th, closed the door with 2 outs registered before an walk made inconsequential by a KO for the final out.
Game 2 sort of looked like Game 1 for the Hokies. The day was an almost but not chilly mostly cloudy Blacksburg early late Winter struggling to be Spring day. I arrived at the ball park to get set up and learn the lay of the new stadium. It was interesting and once you realized that the big change was the stands and the press box, things started to settle into the normal pattern. Since it was a non-converence game I could move around the place and set up shots where I would like. We’ll get passes to the camera pits for the ACC contests that we cover. But for now it was interersting to get a chance to take some pictures of the new goings on.
Baseball is one of those games that has its own pace, and its own energy level. It is interesting to see the contrast between the warm up routines for the football and baseball players.
Well to get back to the game, it all started after Nolan Wilson got tagged for a three singles and a run before he scrambled out of the top of the 1st inning. Then the usual combination of weird and good happened to create a pretty much insurmountable lead right out of the gate.
First, Luke Horanski got plonked pretty hard. (There were quite a few plonks by Richmond pitching in this game.) So, shaking his head he took his base.
Then Tech proceeded to go completely around the order with three singles a double and a walk; all with two outs. And that as they say was all she wrote. Richmond never managed to really get anything going. The Tech pitch by committee was throwing quality stuff.
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Richmond Spiders: Game 2
Nick Biddison would nab his first collegiate dinger in the bottom of the 5th inning, and Tech would pull off a 4 run rally in the bottom of the 8th. Ryan Okuda - who looked really good picked up the win.
So, tomorrow the Hokie are in Pittsburgh (ugh.. the weather might be interesting... the Yinzers know how to throw a Winter). BTW: History buffs, Pittsburgh was Fort Pitt, established in the Northwest Territories of the Colony of Virginia in the mid 18th Century.