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Virginia Tech Hokies Earn Their Second Sweep Beating Fordham: 12-0, 8-2, and 7-3

Wow what a rocket hot start to the Hokies’ baseball season. In six complete games they’ve managed to win by no fewer than four runs. Baseball always returns to average, but this is just a wonderful start. GO HOKIES!!!

Setting up for a pitch.
John Schneider - SB Nation

The weekend started on a bit of a downer. The weather between February 20th and 24th had turned cold and rainy. East Tennessee State showed up for a single game Tuesday, and the local downpour resulted in a cancellation and a “no contest” after 3 12 unproductive offensive innings. Maybe that was a blessing, maybe not. But Friday was looking a bit dicey as February was asserting itself. Temperatures were in the mid to high 40s and the clouds kept circling in the swirling late Winter wind. That made it feel pretty cold, and the Fordham Rams, down from New York City/Westchester County were probably feeling right at home.

Game 1 Friday February 25

You had to know that the Hokies were on to something and were keeping it relatively quiet. That something has burst out of the gate at full throttle, because Griffin Green took the mound as the starting pitcher for the second time this season. Green had pitched a 5-inning shutout in game one, and promptly set up to repeat the feat in his second start of 2022.

Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Fordham Rams - 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
Fordham 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
>>Virginia Tech 0 1 4 0 0 2 0 5 X 12 11 0
A total run away for the Hokies Hokie Sports

As masterful as the starting pitching was, it didn’t necessarily need to be. The Hammerin’ Hokies brought the lumber to English Field, and after a three up, three down bottom of the 1st, found the range on Fordham’s starting pitcher. Jack Hurley reached out and touched the ground outside of the left field wall which opened the scoring, and after a quick trip to the field and back, the throttle on the Tech offense. The bottom of the 3rd netted the Hokies 4 runs, which included some serious knocks. Carson DeMartini doubled, Jack Hurley (more about him at the end of this) doubled (Ground Rule, to boot), and Gavin Cross tripled. If that wasn’t impressive enough Eduardo Malinowski followed Jack Hurley’s tater out of the park.

Hokies Box Score for Game 1

Position Player At Bats Runs Hits RBI Walks KOs Stranded
Position Player At Bats Runs Hits RBI Walks KOs Stranded
RF Nick Biddison 4 2 2 2 1 0 0
CF Gavin Cross 4 2 1 1 0 0 3
#CF Brennan Reback 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
SS Tanner Schobel 4 0 1 4 0 0 0
PR/SS Warren Holzemer 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
2B Eduardo Malinowski 2 2 1 1 1 0 0
#PH Sam Tackett 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
#LF Jonah Seagears 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
LF Jack Hurley 3 2 3 3 1 0 0
#PH/2B Christian Martin 1 0 1 1 0 0 0
DH Conor Hartigan 4 0 0 0 0 0 2
#PH Cade Swisher 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
C Cade Hunter 3 0 1 0 1 0 0
#PR Carson Jones 1 1 0 0 0 0 2
#C Dylan Hatfield 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1B Nick Holesa 2 1 0 0 2 0 0
3B Carson DeMartini 3 1 1 0 1 1 0
TOTALS 32 12 11 12 8 1 7
Hammerin’ Hokies Scoring Hokie Sports

Things would settle in a bit, but the Hokies managed two runs in the 6th and exploded for 5 in the 8th. Meanwhile those Hokie pitchers just kept working the ball and keeping the Rams from crossing the plate. Here are some general highlights.

BATTING

Doubles: Tanner Schobel (1); Jack Hurley (1); Christian Martin (1); Carson DeMartini (1)

Triples: Gavin Cross (1)

Home Runs: Eduardo Malinowski (1); Jack Hurley (2)

Sacrifice Flies: Tanner Schobel (1)

BASERUNNING

Stolen Bases: Nick Biddison (1); Cade Hunter (1)

Hit By Pitch: Gavin Cross (1); Eduardo Malinowski (1)

Take a look at this quality start and even with a couple of pinches a door slamming finish.

Hokie Pitching for Game 1

Player Innings Hits Runs Earned Walks Kos Wild Stuff Plonks
Player Innings Hits Runs Earned Walks Kos Wild Stuff Plonks
Griffin Green (W, 2-0) 6 2 0 0 1 5 0 0
Jonah Hurney 2 0 0 0 0 5 0 0
Sean Fisher 1 0 0 0 1 2 0 0
TOTALS 2 0 0 2 12 0 0
Quality Start, quality finish Hokie Sports

It was really hard to argue with the birds on Friday. The door slam was emphatic, and the hammer was out.

Game 2 Saturday February 26

Saturday, the weather was still pretty chilly. There was still a breeze, but not bridging into wind, and the temps in the low 40s and heavy patchy clouds made everyone remember the Tuesday game. Thankfully the Rams and Hokies weren’t stopped by Mother Nature, and this time Ryan Okuda took the mound for his second start with very much the same attitude as this first of 2022.

Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Fordham Rams - Game 2

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
Fordham 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 3
>>Virginia Tech 2 0 2 0 1 2 1 0 X 8 10 1
This time the Rams plated a couple but not enough. Hokie Sports

After Okuda pulled off a nice 3 up/3 down opening frame, the Hokies came out of the dugout with a plan to put some runs up in a fast hurry. They needed to hurry because they didn’t get the line moving until 2 outs into their half of the inning. But that seems to be a theme for this season, so far. They Hokies aren’t giving up after 2 outs. They are continuing to put the pressure on the opposing pitcher until the last out is call. That ended up working a 2-run 1st with Malinowski doubling which plated Tanner Schobel, who had walked, and then Malinowski scored on a Connor Hartigan single. The inning ended, soon enough but the damage was done.

Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Fordham Rams - Game 2

Position Player Ups Plates Knocks RBI Free Bags Whiffs Stranded
Position Player Ups Plates Knocks RBI Free Bags Whiffs Stranded
1B Nick Biddison 4 0 0 0 0 0 0
CF Gavin Cross 4 1 1 0 1 2 0
SS Tanner Schobel 3 2 1 2 2 0 1
2B Eduardo Malinowski 5 3 3 2 0 0 0
LF Jack Hurley 4 2 3 0 0 0 3
RF Conor Hartigan 3 0 2 3 0 0 0
DH Cade Hunter 3 0 0 0 0 0 2
C Gehrig Ebel 4 0 0 0 0 2 3
3B Carson DeMartini 3 0 0 0 0 2 0
TOTALS 33 8 10 7 3 6 9
Not many substitutions, and some steady stick work for this game. Hokie Sports

The highlights look nice.

BATTING

Two Baggers: Eduardo Malinowski (1)

Three Baggers: Jack Hurley (1)

Taters: Tanner Schobel (1); Eduardo Malinowski (1)

Sacrifices: Conor Hartigan (1)

BASERUNNING

Steals: Gavin Cross (1)

Plonked: Nick Biddison (1); Jack Hurley (1); Cade Hunter (1); Carson DeMartini (1)

FIELDING

Goofs: Henry Weycker (1)

Okuda did get in a couple of pinches and gave up a 2-run homer in the top of the 4th inning. The Hokies had already scored two in the bottom of the 3rd so the Rams still hadn’t evened it up or gone ahead. He started to struggle a bit, and Coach Szefc pulled him in after the Rams put a runner on 2nd in the top of the 5th with one out. It’s until early and no sense in blowing an arm (and a lead). The remainder of the game was handed to the relief staff who managed to shut the Rams out for the remainder. Kiernan Higgins closed the door for the inning, and the W credit went Henry Weycker.

Hokie Pitching for Game 2

Player Innings Knocks Plates Earned Plates Walks Fans Wild Stuff Plonks
Player Innings Knocks Plates Earned Plates Walks Fans Wild Stuff Plonks
Ryan Okuda 4.1 4 2 2 1 1 0 0
Kiernan Higgins 0.2 1 0 0 2 0 0 0
Henry Weycker (W, 1-0) 3 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Brady Kirtner 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
TOTALS 7 2 2 3 3 0 0
A good effort by the bull pen Hokie Sports

Game 3 Sunday February 26

Game three stared at 1:00 on an absolutely lovely afternoon. It went from overcast to sunny during the game. The temps stayed in the high 40s and touched 50 by the end. The wind and breeze had left so it was feeling a bit more like baseball time.

Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Fordham Rams - Game 3

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
Fordham 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 12 1
>>Virginia Tech 1 1 0 0 2 1 2 0 X 7 11 1
Steady scoring and a late multi run inning finish did the trick. Hokie Sports

The Hokies started Drue Hackenberg who had put up a quality start in the last game in the opening series. His start was a bit rough in the first inning. The Rams actually jumped out to a one run lead on some small ball and a wild pitch. Hackenberg managed to get control, and work through his issues to get the side out, and his offense came to his aid. Gavin Cross managed an RBI on a contact play that resulted in Nick Biddison crossing the plate after working his way around the bags following a walk. (You always pay for lead off walks.)

The Hokies worked a run to go back into the lead in the bottom of the 2nd, and the Rams never managed to get closer, again. The Hokies manufactured two runs in the bottom of the 5th, and then two solo shots by Malinowski and Hurley to pretty much salt away the game.

Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Fordham Rams - Game 3

Position Player Ups Plates Knocks RBI Free Bags Whiffs Stranded
Position Player Ups Plates Knocks RBI Free Bags Whiffs Stranded
RF Nick Biddison 4 2 2 0 1 0 2
CF Gavin Cross 4 1 1 2 1 0 0
SS Tanner Schobel 3 0 2 1 1 0 1
2B Eduardo Malinowski 4 1 1 2 0 0 2
LF Jack Hurley 3 2 3 1 1 0 0
DH Conor Hartigan 3 0 0 0 0 2 2
C Cade Hunter 3 0 1 1 0 1 2
1B Nick Holesa 3 1 1 0 1 0 0
3B Carson DeMartini 2 0 0 0 1 1 0
#PH Sam Tackett 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
#3B Lucas Donlon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTALS 30 7 11 7 6 4 9
This one wasn’t a slug fest. Hokie Sports

There was a whole lot of small ball and base running going on for both sides in this game. Here are the Hokie Highlights:

BATTING

Doubles: Nick Biddison (2); Gavin Cross (1); Tanner Schobel (1); Jack Hurley (2); Nick Holesa (1)

Dingers: Eduardo Malinowski (1); Jack Hurley (1)

Sac Flies: Eduardo Malinowski (1); Cade Hunter (1)

BASERUNNING

Swipes: Nick Biddison (1); Jack Hurley (1)

Caught Stealing: Conor Hartigan (1); Cade Hunter (1)

Plonked: Tanner Schobel (1); Conor Hartigan (1)

FIELDING

Oopsies: Nick Biddison (1)

It wasn’t without a scare, though. The Rams put up 2 in the top of the 9th, but the rally ended, and the game closed with Hackenberg getting credit for the win.

Virginia Tech Pitching - Game 3

Player Innings Knocks Plates Earned Plates Walks Fans Wild Stuff Plonks
Player Innings Knocks Plates Earned Plates Walks Fans Wild Stuff Plonks
Drue Hackenberg (W, 2-0) 5 7 1 1 0 4 1 0
Graham Firoved 3 2 0 0 0 4 0 0
Noah Johnson 0.2 2 1 1 0 0 0 0
Jordan Geber 0.1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0
TOTALS 12 3 3 0 8 1 0
This wasn’t a gem, but it certainly got the job done. Hokie Sports

To say that the Hokies are on fire is a bit unfair. Their 6 - 0 start is excellent. Two sweeps are hard to get, this early in the season. Most teams are happy to come away with a split series win and some quality work in. The Hokies need to keep their momentum up but also be mindful that baseball is and always will be a sport played above and below par. The Ls will come, and the tough teams are the ones that shake those off and play the next game.

It sure is fun to win though.

High Point University is in town the 1st of March to play a Fat Tuesday matchup. Let’s see if the Hokies can keep the Ws going up on the board.

As to that little note about Jack Hurley. Guess who managed to be the College Baseball News Player of the week. Congratulations Jack!

GO HOKIES!!!!