With the 3-2 victory over Georgia Tech, the Hokies have secured themselves a spot in their first ever ACC Championship game! Sweeping the competition in Pool B, Pete Hughes' squad will play for the title on Sunday at 1:00. The game can be watched (on a full size television) on ESPN2.
Pitcher of the Week:
Brad Markey (VT, RHP): 8.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, BB, 10 K; Stellar performances by the starting pitchers propelled the Hokies tournament run. Joe Mantiply and Devin Burke each had great outings, but Markey's was one for the ages. Coming just two outs short of a complete game, Markey tied his career high with 10 strikeouts on the night, but had to be pulled after getting into a little trouble in the ninth. The Florida State offense average 6.6 runs per game, but Markey has held them to 4 in 17.1 innings pitched this season.
Position Player of the Week:
Chad Pinder (VT, SS/3B): 6 for 11, 3 HR, 2B, 8 RBI; Probably one of the most obvious choices I've ever had to make for this award, Pinder's talent was on full display this week in Durham. Wednesday's game against UVA showed just how well rounded of a player Pinder is, going 3 for 5 with 2 HR, 6 RBI. He followed up that performance with a 2 for 4 outing on Thursday, and went 1 for 2 with a sacrifice fly and another homer on Friday's pool play finale.
Wednesday: Hokies 10, Cavaliers 1
Virginia Tech set the tone for what would be a great weekend of baseball in Durham with a 10-1 walloping of the Wahoos. As was stated in the comment sections of a few different posts, nothing feels better than creaming UVA, and Chad Pinder's efforts will likely go down in HokieBall history as one of the greatest single game performances since we joined the ACC. We shouldn't overlook Joe Mantiply's outing however; going 7.0 innings and allowing only 1 run. He also held the ACC's best hitter, Mike Papi, to 1 hit in 4 at bats.
Thursday: Hokies 3, Seminoles 2
Brad Markey set aside the struggles he had in the second half of the season, and turned in an outstanding performance against a solid Florida State lineup. Markey held the Seminoles to two runs for the second time this season (the first being a complete game outing on March 29th) and outdueled Florida State sophomore Luke Weaver. The Hokies were up 2-0 entering the top of the ninth inning, but three hits in the away half of the inning tied the game at 2-2 and set the table for the late game heroics. Mark Zagunis came up to the plate with one out in the bottom of the ninth and put the 2-0 offering from Gage Smith over the "Blue Monster" in left field to win the game for the Hokies in walk-off fashion.
Friday: Hokies 3, Yellow Jackets 2
Devin Burke became the third Virginia Tech pitcher in as many days to turn in a quality start, as the Hokies took care of the seventh seeded Yellow Jackets, 3-2. Finding themselves trailing for the first time in the tournament, the Hokies tied the game in the fourth with a wind-aided, opposite field homerun from Chad Pinder; his third of the tournament. Pinder was also responsible for the winning run as his sacrifice fly plated Kyle Wernicki, breaking the 2-2 stalemate. This was Devin Burke's second victory against Georgia Tech this season, as he was the winning pitcher in a 6-2 decision against the Yellow Jackets in early March.
The Hokies have a day off on Saturday, which will give them a chance to rest and also scout their opponents for Sunday's championship game. The possible opponents are as follows:
- #1 North Carolina- UNC is 2-0 in Pool A and will find themselves in the championship game with a Saturday victory over NC State.
- #4 NC State- NC State is 2-0 in Pool A and will advance to the championship with a victory over North Carolina on Saturday night.
If you're looking for something to do tonight, I highly suggest tuning into the UNC vs. NC State game at 7:00 PM. Not only will two great teams go against each other in a winner take all game, but Carlos Rodon will take the mound for the Wolfpack. If you haven't had the privilege of seeing Rodon pitch, you're in for a treat because this guy can flat out deal. Many experts have him projected as the #1 overall pick in next year's draft. Oh, and UNC's projected starter Hobbs Johnson isn't too bad either!
Fun Facts and Useless Stats:
The Hokies are winners of their last 8, 13 of their last 14, and 16 of their last 18 dating back to April 20th.
The last 4 teams to go 3-0 in the pool play, dating back to Miami in 2008, went on to capture the ACC Championship Trophy. This streak will obviously end this year though, because both teams in the championship game will have 3-0 records.
With the expansion of the ACC, this is the last season that they will be using the Round Robin format. Next year the tournament will go back to being a 10 team double elimination format.
The Hokies are a combine 0-6 against their possible championship opponents this season. Let's go!