Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Radford Highlanders - Tuesday Game - February 28th
The Week Started with Radford coming up Peppers Ferry and Prices Fork for a little New River Valley baseball set to. The Hokies were just off a 2-1 series win with some tight games and were looking for something to hit. Radford has a solid baseball program, but their coaches are very new, and Coach Szefc has lured one of their best players, David Bryant, in years up the road to play for the Hokies.
The end result was a sort of runaway shelling that would normally scare off most teams, but Radford will be spoiling for a bit of revenge on April 18th when the Hokies get on the buses to drive the 25 minutes to the Radford campus. These two teams have fond history and it’s a family rivalry that means great fun at the ballpark for a weekday afternoon.
Right-handed Reliever Christian Worley was credited with the win in the pitch by committee game. The Hokies would use 8 pitchers for the contest and keep their inning count down to pretty much one each. That gave some critical relievers some work in game conditions without blowing arms that could be needed for the weekend series.
Hokies vs. Highlanders - Pitching
|Player||Innings||Knocks||Plates||Earned Plates||Walks||Fans||Wild Stuff||Plonks|
|Player||Innings||Knocks||Plates||Earned Plates||Walks||Fans||Wild Stuff||Plonks|
|Worley, Christian (W, 1-0)||1.2||0||0||0||0||3||0||0|
There definitely were some scoring events to mention with 17 runs hung up on the board.
At the Plate:
Doubles: Grady, Clay (1); Cannizzaro, Chris (1); DeMartini, Carson (1); Sparber, Chris (1)
Homers: Bryant, David (1); Newman, Carter (1); Jones, Carson (1)
Sacrifice Flies: Eisert, Eddie (1)
On the Bases:
Steals: DeMartini, Carson (1); Eisert, Eddie (1)
Caught Stealing: Malinowski, Eduardo (1)
Hit Batsmen: Jones, Carson (1); Malinowski, Eduardo (1)
The game wrapped in reasonable time and the Spring like conditions made it a pleasant day for Hokie fans attending the game.
— Virginia Tech Baseball (@HokiesBaseball) March 1, 2023
. Virginia Tech scored double-digit runs on Tuesday for the time during the month of February, cruising past Radford in 17-2 fashion at English Field.#Hokies ⚾️
The Weekend Came with Some Threatening Weather and a High Scoring Start
We’ve seen the Charlotte 49ers before. The Tech coaching staff seems to have a good relationship with the Charlotte program. It’s a great warmup series against a solid opponent for Tech, and Charlotte came north to prove that they weren’t some sort of pre-conference cupcake to get the Hokies feeling good.
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Charlotte University 49ers - Game 1 - March 3rd
Well, the 49ers proved their point, to a point. It took every out of every inning plus one. before the Hokies managed a walk off homerun in the bottom of the 10th.
Hokies vs. 49ers - Game 1 - March 3rd
I would think that under normal circumstances the extra innings would have been acceptable, but the weather was making it nearly impossible. Only an hour or two after the game ended, Blacksburg was hit by a deluge and even a couple of flashes of lightning and thunder. It was good that the game time was moved up to 1:00 instead of the planned start at 4:00.
The note of pitching depression for the early season is the struggling of Griffin Green. Last season, the pair were a feared duo, and one would hope they return to that one-two starting nightmare for our opponents, but for now, Green is really having difficulty getting a flow going. Here is hoping that Coach Szefc’s pitching staff helps him work through his issues so that he can get back to 2022 form. Because of those issues, Tech was forced to go to long relief and a slapped together pitch by committee game past the first out of the 4th inning. If the Hokies were going to win this one it was going to have to be a high scoring game, and that’s just what the Hokie offense delivered.
The inarguable star of the game was outfielder #24 Chris Cannizzaro. His eye was impeccable, and his bat was red hot.
At the Plate:
Doubles: Hurley, Jack (2); Michel, Garrett (1)
Home Runs: Cannizzaro, Chris (1); Hurley, Jack (1); Michel, Garrett (1)
Sacrifices: Jones, Carson (1); Martin, Christian (1)
Sacrifice Flies: DeMartini, Carson (1)
On the Bags
Steals: Hurley, Jack (1)
Let’s take a Look at the Box Score for this one; lots of subs for the game.
Hokie Box Score for Game 1
The end result was an 11 all tie as the Hokies, in the rapidly building cold and wet conditions looked like they were going to waste a base runner. Garrett Michel had a lead-off strikeout. Christian Martin had singled after the first out, and a second strikeout, by David Bryant that left Chris Cannizzaro up. He promptly took the first pitch deep into center left field for a two-run walk-off homer that finally ended the game and sent everyone for drier conditions.
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Charlotte University 49ers - Game 2 - March 4th
The second game was played in much nicer rain conditions, but as is usual in Spring (yes, I know, but it’s Spring, early, here this year) but the wind was blowing from the north northwest at a really good clip, that means it’s heading out to center field from the stands. That can be a challenge for the outfield, and for the pitchers because balls lofted up into the wind get carried a long way.
Drue Hackenberg took to the mound for the Hokies. Drue is pitching well for the beginning of the season though he got in a spot in the 5th inning before the first out went up. He was charged with 2 earned runs and the 49ers plated a 3rd unearned. Hack was pulled and reliever Christian Worley came in to clean up the inning. He finished the game, and got credit for the win. That’s a good thing getting Worley to close out for five innings saved the bullpen.
The game wasn’t a huge blowout, but it was a solid win for the Hokies. They still had to work for it, though. Charlotte wasn’t giving up anything easily.
Hokies vs. 49ers - Game 2 March 4th
This was a more standard game where the over/under remained below 10 runs and there was no big runaway. At the time of the 3-run 49er rally, they had edged to within a single run. The Hokies worked a run in the 5th, and Chris Cannizzaro homered in the 6th, but that ended the scoring. Charlotte would threaten a few times, but Worley kept them from crossing the plate. The Hokies locked down the series win with three convincing 3-up-3-down innings in the 7th, 8th, and 9th. He only gave up 2 hits and struck out 7 for his five innings of work. Hokies need that sort of long relief, and with that sort of top-notch performance Worley could be a starter candidate for pitch-by-committee games where Coach Szefc wants more innings out of each pitcher.
Of course, it was necessary to keep the 49ers away from the W, and that still meant offense. Here is the scoring summary for both teams to tell the tale of the plate crossers.
Hokies vs. 49ers Scoring Summary for Game 2
|Virginia Tech||2nd||C. Grady reached on a throwing error by 2b (1-1 BK); G. Ebel scored, unearned.||0||1|
|Virginia Tech||2nd||Cannizzaro singled to left field, advanced to second on the throw, RBI (1-2 FBFF); C. Martin advanced to third; C. Grady scored, unearned.||0||2|
|Virginia Tech||4th||C. Martin tripled to right field, RBI (1-2 BFF); G. Ebel scored.||0||3|
|Virginia Tech||4th||Cannizzaro doubled to left field, RBI (2-0 BB); C. Martin scored.||0||4|
|Charlotte||5th||Hopson singled through the right side, RBI (3-2 BSBFB); Dragum scored, unearned.||1||4|
|Charlotte||5th||Knight homered to right field, 2 RBI (0-0); Hopson scored.||3||4|
|Virginia Tech||5th||G. Ebel singled to left field, RBI (0-0); E. Eisert scored.||3||5|
|Virginia Tech||6th||Cannizzaro homered to left center, RBI (1-2 SSB).||3||6|
Significant Hokie Offensive Stats
Doubles: Cannizzaro, Chris (1); Eisert, Eddie (1); Ebel, Gehrig (1)
Triples: Martin, Christian (1)
Home Runs: Cannizzaro, Chris (1)
Stolen Bases: Hurley, Jack (1)
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Charlotte University 49ers - Game 2 - March 5th
Well, we finally got to photograph a game. It was just beautiful in Blacksburg on Sunday March 5th. There was a breeze blowing out to center field, and the only clouds in the sky were contrails. It was a perfect Spring Day for an early season baseball game, and the Hokies were feeling the glimmers of a sweep coming.
The pitch by committee started off with a nice showing from Anthony Arguelles. He did give the Hokies 3 and a 3rd innings of work, and even with the 3 earned runs given up, they were largely inconsequential. Coach Szefc seemed to be looking to push some of his relievers a bit since the Hokie offense was loud and scoring often. Lefty Grant Umberger was brought in to do some cleanup of the situation in the 4th and stayed in two and a third which was enough to get credit for the win. Grant is 2-0, now, and the 49ers only managed 1 hit off of him. More importantly he dished 4 strikeouts and notched two goose eggs on the scoreboard.
The Hokie Offense exploded out of the 1st Inning, and really never looked back. It was so overwhelming, that Coach Szefc essentially replaced everyone in the lineup with a sub before the game ended. Some of the starters were new names, and some of the subs were old names, but there were lots of opportunities for the bench to shine, too.
Hokies vs. 49ers - Game 3 - March 5th
Hokie Game 3 Box Score
The Stats for the Sweep
At the Plate
Two Baggers: Cannizzaro, Chris (1); DeMartini, Carson (1); Hurley, Jack (1); Jones, Carson (1); Tackett, Sam (1)
3 Baggers: Cannizzaro, Chris (1); Grady, Clay (1)
Tater: Malinowski, Eduardo (1); Michel, Garrett (1)
Sac Flies: Martin, Christian (1)
On the Bags
Base Thievery: Martin, Christian (1); DeMartini, Carson (1); Jones, Carson (1); Michel, Garrett (1)
Plonked: DeMartini, Carson (1); Hurley, Jack (1); Donay, Brody (1)
It was a great week for Hokie Sports, and certainly the excitement in the stands was greatly enhanced by the resounding win of the Women’s Basketball Team. That’s a huge chain of conference wins for the entire athletic program, and the baseball Hokies look well on their way to doing something special again this season.
Tomorrow, and Wednesday the Hokies host a two-game mini-series with the University of Massachusetts, Lowell campus. That’s a team we hadn’t heard of before, so it’s going to be interesting.
We will be changing up the baseball coverage and shortening articles once the basketball season is over (not too soon Ladies and Gentlemen... not too soon, please!) but it’s been like the game yesterday. Streaming the basketball game in one hand and trying to track the action on the field with the camera in the other.