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Virginia Tech Hokies Sweep Boston College in Boston with Three Hard Fought Games

So, every team goes on the road hoping to win a split decision in a series - especially a conference series. The Hokies traveled well on this trip and defeat the Eagles for all three games. It wasn’t easy, though. GO HOKIES!!!

So, pitching was the star in 2 of the 3 in Boston.
John Schneider - SB Nation (File)

So, the Hokies made the long trip to the Northeast to visit their old Big East rivals the Boston College Eagles. Their baseball program is usually top notch, and there were elements of that reality in the three games that were completed, but BC has been struggling on the short side for most of the season. They were looking for a bit of redemption, though. The Hokies are new to this return to ranked status and near top-rated ACC stuff. There was every reason to believe that maybe this time was going to be a reminder that baseball is a game of averages, and Tech has pushed average for a long time.

Nope. There are many ways to win baseball games, and the Hokies managed three of the different ways this past weekend. The bookend games were played on BC’s home field in Brighton, MA. The second contest was played in historic Fenway Park; the ancient and much revered home of the Boston Red Sox.

Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Boston College Eagles - Game 1 - April 22nd

Griffin Green is the Game 1 starting pitcher, and at 5 and 1, he was looking to grab some quality time on the mound while improving on that already excellent collegiate pitching record.

Hokies vs. Eagles - 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
>>Virginia Tech 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 5 1
Boston College 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 2
A classic pitchers’ duel Hokie Sports

There were exactly two offensive highlights in this one. It might actually count as a single highlight because it was a back-to-back home run effort by Gavin Cross and Tanner Schobel in the top of the 7th that provided just enough umph to push the Hokies across the end of the 9th, in the lead.

Well, Griffin did it in high style pitching 6 and 2/3rds innings of scoreless baseball. Graham Firoved went the remainder of the game with an even more impressive (if 100% goose eggs wasn’t good enough) hitless scoreless relief session. Between the two of them those two solo shots from Cross and Schobel were all that the Hokies needed to grab that momentum generating win.

Take a look at the pitching stats for this one, sorry batters, the offensive grid can stay in the basket for this one - y’all have had your share of being bragged on.

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, 6-1) 6.2 7 0 0 2 7 0 1
Graham Firoved (S, 1) 2.1 0 0 0 1 5 0 0
TOTALS 7 0 0 3 12 0 1
Two pitchers, 9 goose eggs. Hokie Sports

You just can’t ask for more of a defense, remember it wasn’t just pitching, it was catching and put outs that got this one all the way to the end without BC crossing the plate, even a 7th inning sticky spot that Firoved cleaned up for his teammate.

Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Boston College Eagles - Game 2 - April 23rd

There was something special about Game 2, and that was the trip to Boston proper to take the field at Fenway Park. The game was played in tribute and remembrance for their teammate and alumnus Nick Frates who passed away at age 34 from the effects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS - also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

Hokies Saturday starter Drue Hackenberg took to the mound, and there commenced to be the start of another serious pitcher’s duel. There was a quick stumble for Drue and Crew in the bottom of the 1st. Drue got into a sticky situation where a lead-off single crossed the plate after he had the inning about to shut down with two outs up. That run would be it for the game for the Eagles, though.

Hokies vs. Eagles - Game 2 in Fenway Park - ALS Awareness

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
>>Virginia Tech 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 0 2 6 10 1
Boston College 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 2
Another Hokie Pitching Masterpiece Hokie Sports

The remainder of the contest, Hackenberg was efficient, and kept any hits to the inconsequential variety. Hackenberg would go seven full innings, and post 7 strikeouts to sweeten his already impressive pitching resume.

Another pitching masterpiece for the Hokies

Player Innings Knocks Plates Earned Plates Walks Fans Wild Stuff Plonks
Player Innings Knocks Plates Earned Plates Walks Fans Wild Stuff Plonks
Player IP H R ER BB SO WP HBP
Drue Hackenberg (W, 8-0) 7 6 1 1 2 7 0 0
Kiernan Higgins (S, 3) 2 0 0 0 1 4 0 1
TOTALS 6 1 1 3 11 0 1
Nothing to argue with Hokie Sports

The story of this game was the late blooming Tech offense. Lucas Donlon crossed the plate in the top of the third on a Gavin Cross ground rule double. And then a sort of stall happened. Tech’s hammers stayed in the bat racks for a few innings.

Hokies’ Box Score for Game 2

Position Player Ups Plates Knocks RBI Free Bags Whiffs Stranded
Position Player Ups Plates Knocks RBI Free Bags Whiffs Stranded
RF Nick Biddison 5 1 1 0 0 2 1
CF Gavin Cross 4 0 2 2 1 0 0
SS Tanner Schobel 4 1 0 1 0 0 3
LF Jack Hurley 5 1 2 3 0 1 1
C Cade Hunter 5 0 0 0 0 2 2
DH Conor Hartigan 4 0 1 0 0 0 0
#PR Warren Holzemer 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3B Carson DeMartini 4 0 0 0 0 2 1
1B Lucas Donlon 4 3 3 0 0 0 0
2B Christian Martin 2 0 1 0 1 0 0
TOTALS 37 6 10 6 2 7 8
The Hokie offensive numbers for Game 2 Hokie Sports

It was the top of the 6th before the dam broke, and some magic occurred for Jack Hurley. Tanner Schobel reached on a dropped infield pop fly, and then Hurley took the third pitch of his at-bat over the right field wall (no it wasn’t the ‘Green Monster’) but it was a tater in the House of Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, and Carlton Fisk. You have to wonder if someone went downtown to find the ball and give it to Jack. That homer broke the tie with a 2-run buffer that provided more than enough runs to win the game.

Hokie Offensive Highlights

At the Plate

Doubles: Gavin Cross (1); Conor Hartigan (1); Christian Martin (1)

Home Runs: Jack Hurley (1) - Did he get the ball back for his trophy case?

Sacrifices: Christian Martin (1), Tanner Schobel (1)

On the Bags

Steals: Nick Biddison (1)

The Hokies do keep scoring something when they finally get going, and so they added a run in the 7th, and 2 more in the 9th to push their total to 6 for the game. The Eagles never managed to make much more big contact, and never really threatened beyond the 1st inning.

It was a solid win for Virginia Tech in a grand old park for a good cause.

Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Boston College Eagles - Game 3 - April 24th

The final game of the series was played back at the Eagles’ home field, and there was some hope that they’d get at least one game out of the series. Tech has been floundering a bit in third games of ACC matchups. There haven’t been many series sweeps this season, and in particular exactly no triple W’s for ACC opponents, only one for the other guys.

The reality is that getting a few sweeps nailed down is going to be a critical factor in how well the team will respond to various playoff pressures. The Hokies have struggled with not having a 3rd starting pitcher, and the shaky nature of the bull pen, this season.

Hokes vs. Eagles - 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
>>Virginia Tech 0 0 1 0 2 0 3 0 0 6 7 1
Boston College 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 1 0 4 6 0
A see-saw small-ball duel sweep victory Hokie Sports

This one started out as dry and low scoring as the other two games this series. In fact, the Eagles managed to keep pace with the Hokies until the top of the 7th inning. The score was tied at 3 all when Tech managed to plate three runs.

Hokies got rolling late for 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 1 1 1 0 0 1
CF Gavin Cross 3 1 1 0 2 1 0
SS Tanner Schobel 4 1 1 2 1 1 1
LF Jack Hurley 4 1 1 0 1 0 1
C Cade Hunter 4 0 2 3 0 1 0
3B Carson DeMartini 3 0 0 0 1 3 1
1B/2B Lucas Donlon 3 0 0 0 1 2 2
DH Sam Tackett 3 1 0 0 1 3 1
2B Christian Martin 3 1 1 0 0 1 0
#1B Nick Holesa 1 0 0 0 0 1 0
TOTALS 32 6 7 6 7 13 7
Looks more like a baseball score Hokie Sports

It looked like Christian Martin would be stranded after a lead-off single, and two frustrating outs (Biddison fly and Cross foul) then the BC pitcher lost the steering on the ball and Martin made it into 2nd due to a wild pitch. Tanner Schobel drew a four-pitch walk. Then both Martin and Schobel advanced a base on a passed ball. Both came roaring home with an emphatic double by Cade Hunter (after a Jack Hurley walk). But the rally ended with three runs as Carson DeMartini was fanned to end the inning.

Game 3 Offensive Highlights

Batting

Doubles: Tanner Schobel (1); Jack Hurley (1); Cade Hunter (2)

Sacrifice Flies: Nick Biddison (1)

On the Bases

Stolen Bases: Nick Biddison (1); Gavin Cross (1)

The Eagles had a batter run into a pitch for a home run in the bottom of the 8th, but that’s as close as they got to standing on a base for the final three full innings of the game. The Hokies pulled the broom from their box of bats for their first ACC sweep of the season.

This week the Dukes come down I-81 from Harrisonburg to visit. They beat the Hokies at home during an early struggle period for Tech. It’s pretty certain that the Hokies are looking for a measure of revenge. Then the Hokies get on the buses and head to Hooville for a three game Commonwealth Clash showdown with UVA. As hard as the BC series could have been (and was) this one is going to be even more difficult. The Hoo baseball team, isn’t the Hoo football program. The Wahoos had a bit of a stumble for a little while, but have come on strong of late. Currently they are 31-10 and they would just love to hand us some stinky ‘L’s to make our stretch run harder.

GO HOKIES!!!!