The Virginia Tech Hokies baseball team is now pushing their best start in years. Coach Szefc has the team firing on all cylinders. The starting pitchers are tossing gems, and the sticks have awakend to put together a seven game win streak.
Chris Gerard (1-1) got the win on the opener for Friday February 28th. The game was started two hours early to try to avoid the predicted rough weather. The Hokies seemed to be ready for the challenge of getting ready out of schedule. CG had a sort of rough start as Bryant crossed the plate in the 1st inning he was “rewarded” for his hit by pitch mistake when the Bryant player that he hit stole 2nd and then was singled home. That topped out Bryant’s scoring until the 6th inning, though. Gerard knuckled down, got control, and was promptly picked up by his teamates as the Hokies scored 4 in the 1st. That burst was lead by a Carson Taylor triple and a Kevin Madden home run.
Hokies vs. Bryant Game 1 (2/28)
There certainly wasn’t much of a rest that no runs crossing the plate for five innings would suggest. Bryant was tagging the ball, and often. They just weren’t crossing the plate.
Tech’s major stats for the game are:
Doubles: Nick Biddison (1); Carson Taylor (2) Triples: Carson Taylor (1) Home Runs: Kevin Madden (1). Stole home: Nick Biddison (1) the remainder of the stolen bases: Brennan Reback (3); Gavin Cross (2); Fritz Genther (2)
It was a complete offensive performance for the Hokies, and the weather call was correct because the Saturday game was postponed for a double header on March 1.
Everyone has heard my lament before. Double headers are usually the tombstone for the chance at a sweep. Most of the time, double headers are split affairs. Coaches usually end up subbing in the bench for one or the other game, and that usually seals it. Not on Sunday, though. The Hokies started playing baseball at 11:00 on Sunday morning, and finished after two games with a thumping 17-4 score total.
Anthony Simonelli (2-1) started game two. He pitched six full innings with a total of two hits and two earned runs crossing the plate in the 6th inning. Jaison Heard (S, 1) closed it out with a clean final three innings.
Hokies vs. Bryant Game 2, (Game 1 of the DH)
The Hokie offense kept up steady pressure by jumping out to a three run lead in the first, and then adding a run in each of the 3rd and 4th innings. The Hokies put two runs across the plate in the 5th, on some small ball assisted by a passed ball by the Bryant catcher.
Tech’s major stats for the game are:
No sooner than the teams had trotted off the field after the first game of the double header than they seemed to be trotting back on. Ian Seymour (3-0) tossed pitch of game three at 3:25 on Sunday March 1st. For a couple of innings it looked like Bryant had this one at a reasonable 1-1 tie. Then Nick Biddison led off the inning with a homer to break the tie in the bottom of the 5th. That run also uncorked the scoring gene from the bottle. The Hokies would stretch the lead to 3 runs with scrambling error assisted runs by Gavin Cross and Carson Taylor.
Hokies Swamp Bryant in Game 3 (Game 2 of the DH)
On the pitching side of things, Ian Seymour went five and a third, with Matthew Siverling, Zach Brzykcy, Stephen Restuccio, and Noah Johnson each getting a chance to help close the door. The game was a pleasant surprise to baseball fans, and the win streak was still intact.
Tuesday’s game at High Point was cancelled, but the Thundering Herd of Marshall came calling on Wednesday evening (the reason why this article is delayed).
Marshall Comes Visiting
Marshall is having a tough season. They came to Blacksburg to see if they could find a way to right their ship and get a quality win under their belts. The Hokies were having none of it. The unusual nature of a Wednesday game didn’t ruffle any feathers on the Fighting Gobblers. Ryan Okuda (1-0) took to the mound and tossed the first pitch at 4:01.
Marshall started off the scoring by taking advantage of a slightly shaky start by the Hokie battery, which included a passed ball by catcher Cade Hunter. Hunter would make up for it later by scoring a run. Okuda smoothed it out a bit and finished the game at 5 and a 1/3rd with 3 hits, 4 runs, 3 of which were earned. The remainder of the game was a pitch by committee closing with Peyton Alford, Matthew Siverling, Nathan Starliper, Gavin Cross, and Ryan Metz slamming the door shut.
Hokies vs. Marshall
The Hokies did get into a slight bit of a pinch in the 6th inning when three players from the Herd crossed the plate, but the offense made sure that the runs were inconsequential. The Hokies eight run scoring explosion in the 4th inning sealed the deal at the half way point, and even with that 3 run sixth, the Herd wasn’t going to get closer.
Hokie offensive notes:
It’s a short rest period for the Hokies as they head to Atlanta to start the ACC schedule against Georgia Tech. That all starts tomorrow evening at 7:00 PM.