Well, we probably shouldn’t have jinxed things. Baseball is nothing if it isn’t consistent about life lessons, and this weekend certainly dished out a bunch. The Bryant Bulldogs, struggling with a sub .500 start and perhaps a bit of a chip on their shoulders came into Bleaksburg on a rain-soaked cold Friday. The water works lifted in enough time for a Friday evening game 1 of the set. The game was delayed an hour to allow things to get dried out a bit, but basically the entire evening was cold but not tremendously wet.
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Bryant Bulldogs: Game 1
Tech had set its early reputation this season by striking early and getting runs across the plate as early as the first inning.
The Hokies had rallied up and knotted the game at 4 all in their half of the 3rd inning, but then the offense pretty much shut down for the remainder of the game. The Hokies managed to walk and get hit by pitches, but only managed a single from the 4th inning on. Bryant wasn’t doing much better, but managed to string together a bunch of singles in the top of the 7th that netted 2 runs that Tech couldn’t overcome. A really sour note was the 4 errors notched by the Hokies in the game. That sort of sloppiness will eventually get you, and the Tech creeping error problem finally had a negative impact.
The teams evidently decided that Sunday’s weather forecast looked too dismal to tempt, so Saturday, which was partly cloudy, breezy and ‘sort of mild’ most of the day, became a split double-header. Anyone who reads my baseball articles knows how much I hate double headers, especially when a team needs to rescue a poor start in a series. Most baseball teams do not manage to sweep double headers, and with the first game loss, a normal split means losing the series.
Guess what happened next... the old mystery writer wagged.
Game 2 of the series, the Day Game of the DH, started at 2:02 PM, and once again Bryant jumped out in front of the action by putting a run up by putting two singles and manufacturing into action. Tech’s offense picked up its lull from Friday evening and largely remained quiet for the entire game. The Tech did manage to tie with a J. Owens double brought home by a Harum single. But the game remained 1 - 1 until the bottom of the 8th inning. Nick Biddison worked a walk, and managed to get to third on a Luke Horanski single. At that point, young Mr. Biddison stole the game by stealing home plate. Reliver Zach Brzykcy (2-0) locked down the lead, and nabbed his second win, but Chris Gerard and Jaison Heard deserve great credit for coming up with 7.2 innings of 1 run ball.
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Bryant Bulldogs: Game 2 (Day Game of the DH)
The Hokies would take a break with a shortened period for the before the 2nd game.
The third game of the series and the night cap of the double header didn’t go well for the Hokies. At least there was a goose egg in the Error column, but the Hokie offense just continued to struggle for the entire game. Meanwhile, Bryant managed to put up one run in each of 4 innings. I had an old baseball coach tell us that if you put up one run per inning it’s really hard to lose the game.
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Bryant Bulldogs: Game 3 (Night Cap of the Split DH)
Bryant didn’t quite do that, but they scored first in the 2nd inning, and then managed to string together enough offense to score one run in each of the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings. That was more than enough to put the Hokies away. Tech managed 6 hits, but hits need to be in effective places and times. Tech didn’t manage to find those.
Luke Scherzer gets docked for the loss, but an offense might have helped him just a bit.
Tech falls in second game of doubleheader to Bryant, but splits the day.— Virginia Tech Baseball (@HokiesBaseball) March 3, 2019
Kerry Carpenter hit his team-leading fourth home run of the year in the loss. pic.twitter.com/8fgkjiO0gq
Looks like Coach Szefc needs to figure out where the bats from the first 7 games went. The Hokies are currently 8-2. Which looking at it on the bright side is much better than last season. They do need to get their offensive chops back, though. The ACC Schedule is fast approaching with a trip to Tallahassee to play Florida State on March 8th.
Meanwhile March 5th, the Hokies head to Lynchburg to take on the Liberty Flames for a single game mid week drive through.
Guess we all need to calm down. It’s going to be a long season and we’re just getting started.