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Virginia Tech On the Diamonds as the Season Wraps

The baseball team finds itself struggling to find the ball with their bats and drop 4, including being swept narrowly by Miami and another pitchers’ duel in Norfolk. The Softball team, on the other hand has just trounced the ACC for the regular season Coastal Championship. They wait for the ACC Championship game and then a shot at the College Softball World Series.

We’ll just take this as the good news bad news choice where you decide to take the bad news first just to get it over with and with the hopes that the good news will help.

Hokie Baseball

The baseball team rolled out of Radford on the way to Coral Gables for a critical series with ACC rival and 22nd ranked Miami. The first game on Friday a 3-4 loss that was a knotted up tight game with the score either tied at 2-2 or Tech on top 3-2, until the bottom of the 8th, and Hokie pitching just couldn’t keep Miami from crossing the plate twice. As the bats fell silent for most of the remainder of the series, Tech was good but just not good enough. Ian Seymour took the loss, but that wasn’t quite fair because he pitched a gem. Saturday’s game was another undeserved loss, this time by Chris Gerard, who pitched an amazing five hit masterpiece that was unfortunately matched by Miami at four hits. Taking a 1-0 loss is probably harder than being blown out. Again the Tech offense couldn’t manage to connect with the ball with any authority or consistency. Sunday’s contest hung an L on Nic Enright, but that was as undeserved as both Seymour’s and Gerard’s. The Hokies held the Miami offense to 2 runs. Unfortunately the Hokie bats were sleeping and no one managed to cross the plate again for the second game in a row.

There was a chance to redeem the road trip a bit as the team rolled into ODU for a contest with the Monarchs. The frustration with ODU’s data feed during the game was met by a sigh of disappointment as I checked the score and the box for the game. A few Hokies found their bats, but only generated 2 runs, and that was one fewer than the Monarchs managed.

Jack Owens managed a threefer day, but that just wasn’t accompanied by much more. Neither team scored after the 5th inning, and that pretty much settled into a Hokie loss. What’s more important is that the 4 game skid has evaporated quite a bit of momentum, and erroded the +6 game bumper over .500. The Baseball Hokies are still above .500 at 24 - 22, but staying above water is going to be quite a challenge. The team has set a high bar for themselves with their final home stand. Boston College is coming this weekend, then West Virginia visits for a single game. The struggling Wahoos show up for the final series on Commencement weekend. The math is pretty plain.. with 7 games left, and almost no hope of an ACC Tournament Bid, the baseball team needs to win both ACC series and take that single Mountaineer game. That’s a tall order for a team that seems to lose their bats in the back of some old store room.

Hokie Softball

This is amazing. The turn around in the softball program is nothing short of amazing. The Hokies are just wrapping up their regular season with a final 2 game series with Western Carolina on May 4th (It’s a Double Header).

Since we last checked in with a touch of lament at the 1-2 series loss against North Carolina, the Hokies have found an afterburner. They swept the Boston College Series up in Chestnut Hill. In fact they pretty much blew the Eagles off the diamond. Softball has a slaughter rule where if the run differential at the end of a complete inning pair is 9 or more, the game is stopped (I’d have to look it up, i think it’s called after something like five complete innings) - Not sure that I like that too much, but it’s the rule and the Hokies’ Friday game was stopped at 10-2 with a completed 6th inning (the 7th was not played). The Saturday game was stopped at 11-1 after 5 innings. Sunday’s game went the full 7 innings with Tech walking quickly away with the emphatic 8-1 win for the series sweep.

Yesterday the team played a double header against Longwood. The Hokies started off the series with an 8-0 6.5 inning blanking of the visitors, and then closed the door on the series with an 8-5 battle. As we said, the Hokies wrap the season with a Senior Day Double Header against Western Carolina. Right now the softball record is an amazing 45-8, 20-4 ACC. That sort of puts last year’s 23-30/7-16 season into the bit bucket.

They are playing great ball. The men’s team still has something to prove, even if they probably aren’t heading for tournament runs after the regular season. The turnarounds in both programs are serious bright spots for Whit Babcock and his coaching choices.

Keep going! Yogi is a prophet and “It ain’t ovah. ‘Til it’s ovah.”