The Weather Wins, Again
The final non-conference road game in Harrisonburg was cancelled due to the wild, stormy weather plowing through the valleys of western Virginia on Tuesday. Tech was due to close out the non-conference schedule with a visit to the JMU Dukes to finish the home and away series that looked like a promising opportunity for the Hokies to hit the 30-win mark and set up some positive momentum going into the final weekend of the ACC and regular seasons in Winston-Salem, NC.
Tech’s overall record is a respectable 29-19 and is currently ranked 10th in the ACC with a basic tie going on between several teams for the 12 available spots for the ACC Tournament. Remember, we said that hope was fading away but hadn’t fled just yet, because there is a 1 game magic number between Louisville and Tech.
The Magic Number is One
If Louisville loses or Tech wins, the Hokie slide into the tournament with one of the final seeds. But it works the other way, too.
The ACC Tournament Magic Number situation was explained by Hokie Sports, today in the JMU cancellation notice:
As it stands, Virginia Tech occupies 10th place in the ACC standings and is seeking qualification to its third consecutive ACC Baseball Championship. The Hokies’ magic number to clinch a conference tournament berth is down to one with Louisville – one Virginia Tech win or one Louisville loss this week will secure Tech’s placement in the 12-team field.
Louisville is 29-22 overall, and 9-18 in ACC play. Tech is 29-19 overall and 11-15 in ACC play. The Cardinals face the Florida State Seminoles for their last series. They are at home. The Seminoles are also in the lower half of the ACC in record, so the contest in Louisville is going to be a relatively even matchup. The benefit here is that Louisville has to sweep this series. One loss for them and Tech is in the ACC Tournament.
The brutal truth about Tech’s final games is that Wake Forest is ranked #1 in nearly every poll known to college baseball, and the Deacons are 47-8 overall, with a 27-2 home record. Their 20-6 finish in the ACC puts them at a #1 seed, and they are the odds-on-favorite is for the Demon Deacons to make it all the way to the college world series.
That makes it a tough slog for Tech to win its way into the tournament. Somehow the pitching and the hammers have to be producing for at least one game in Winston-Salem, and that’s a tall order but not an impossible one, either.
All of the action starts early this week. Both Louisville and the Hokies start up their final weekend series on Thursday with the final games being played on Saturday. Tech’s first at-bat is at 6:00 PM on Thursday May 18th. The Friday contest is at 6:00, too. Saturday the first pitch is at 4:00.
Remember, Hokies need a win, or a Cardinal loss to get in. Be checking the Cardinal scores and back here to see if Tech makes the ACC tournament. One win last weekend would have put us in. Let’s see if our luck gets better this weekend.