All Good Things Come to an End
The Hokies took to English Field at 1:00 PM EDT with high hopes of getting that last critical win to set up a potential run in the College World Series. As we all know, that just didn’t happen, today. The Hokie pitchers didn’t seem to be able to miss many Sooner bats, and the Hokie bats pretty much stayed in the clubhouse. Oklahoma is a tournament experienced team with a deep bench and a rich baseball post season tradition. They leaned heavily on that experience, today.
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Oklahoma Sooners - Game 3 NCAA Super Regionals
No We Aren’t Going to Hang Heads and Wring Hands
Before anyone gets to far into the cups lamenting the loss, it is well worth noting the title of the game grid. That was GAME 3 of the NCAA Super Regionals....
That means something for a program that has struggled for nearly a decade, and certainly never gotten this far into the post season, ever. Add to that the reality that the ACC is one of the premier baseball conferences in the NCAA, and it might just be a really good idea to go back and remember that in the February preseason conversation and predictions the Virginia Tech Hokies were nobodies going nowhere. Our fellow sports media types picked the Hokies to finish a groovy happy 6th in the Coastal Division.
The Hokies Obviously Weren’t in the Mood to Listen
The Hokies ended up the 2022 season with numbers that Tech fans have just never seen many times before.
Overall Record 45-14 .763 Conference Record 19-9 .679
Virginia Tech won the ACC Coastal Championship and finished with a #4 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Hokies were great at home, (33-7) but what surprised many was how good they were on the road and in neutral territory (11-6 - 1-1). No one... absolutely no one saw that coming. PERIOD...
What the Hokies couldn’t seem to overcome was a pitching situation that had starters going further into a long collegiate season than they were used to, and an inexperienced bull pen that had consistency problems at various times in the season.
We aren’t going into big details and box scores, today. There, frankly, aren’t too many highlights to relay to you from today’s game. The great humbler of baseball won out on this one. But it didn’t win the season.
The Hokies won that. They won the marathon. They lost only one series in the entire season. They produced an offense that adopted the sledgehammer as its motivational symbol. They showed that if the MLB draft isn’t going to lure away pitchers, that the starters and the bull pen are going to be even better next season.
It’s Not Trite to Say, See You Again; Here (and maybe beyond) Next Season
There are going to be some bittersweet good-byes as our seniors finally depart for their lives in baseball or other endeavors. We look forward to seeing familiar names on the roster review in February of 2023.
You see, folks. Hokie baseball has a coaching staff and players who got us here when everyone else thought that we’d be limping it in hovering around .500 and struggling to split series, let alone win them outright. This team just learned that it could defy the “experts” and silence the critics. They’ll do it again in 2023, too.
We’ll go through the superlatives in an article later in the week, to give a nod to some outstanding young men who played their Hokie Hearts out to bring home what we hope will be the deepest appearance in the baseball post season.