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Hokie Baseball Hits a Snag, Drops 2 of 3 to the Bryant Bulldogs

In a reminder that this team is still under construction, the Hokies stumble a bit as the Bryant Bulldogs throw some water on the red hot winning streak. Tech drops the series 1 game to 2.

The old English Field as a reminder that we are still rebuilding the program.
John Schneider - SB Nation

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

Team/Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Team/Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Bryant 1 0 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 6 11 0
Virginia Tech 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 5 4
Game 1 of the Bryant Series Stats by Hokie Sports

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)

Team/Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Team/Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Bryant 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 9 0
Virginia Tech 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 X 2 7 1
A narrow win on a stolen plate Stats from Hokie Sports

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)

Team/Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Team/Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Bryant 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 4 7 0
Virginia Tech 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 6 0
No Offense means no win Stats by Hokie Sports

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.

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.