no. 7 Hokies eye season split against JMU on Wednesday

By | April 27, 2022
BLACKSBURG – Justifying its top-10 D1Baseball ranking with a string of five straight victories last week, the No. 7 Virginia Tech baseball team (28-9) will look to salvage a split of its season series against James Madison (23-17) on Wednesday, April 27, when the Hokies host the Dukes at English Field at Atlantic Union Bank Park.

First pitch of Wednesday’s game between Tech and JMU has been moved back to 7 pm (previously 6 pm). Fans may stream the game live on ACC Network Extra and may also tune into WRAD-FM 101.7 to listen to the game as called by the radio play-by-play voice of Tech baseball, Evan Hughes.




MIDWEEK SCHEDULE
day date time Opponent network radio
wed. April 27 7 pm James Madison ACCNX WRAD FM 101.7

PROBABLE STARTERS

Tuesday: Ryan Metz (1-0, 2.30 ERA) vs. CJ Czerwinski (1-0, 9.42 ERA)

ENGLISH FIELD VISITORS GUIDE
Click here to review the 2022 English Field Visitors Guide to access information on ballpark access, cashless concession stands, fan-friendly concession pricing, alcohol sales, clear bag policies, indoor mask mandates, gameday parking and more.

THREE THINGS TO KNOW
Riding the Waves: Virginia Tech doubled down on its No. 8 ranking last week, turning in a 5-0 record against VMI, Radford and Boston College (three-game sweep) to eclipse 28 victories for the first time since the 2013 campaign. Tech’s five-game winning streak was paired with slight adversity as the Hokies came from behind to win three contests, erasing a five-run deficit against the Keydets at English Field. Despite sweeping the Eagles during ACC play, Tech witnessed one of its quieter offensive performances, yielding three-game series lows in runs (14), hits (22) and home runs (three). Although scoring dipped, the Hokies emerged as a team capable of winning ballgames. Prior to its series at BC, Tech had been 1-8 this season when scoring six runs or fewer – a trend the Hokies overcame during each of their victories against the Eagles. After combining to use 13 arms during its midweek wins against VMI and Radford, Tech received two quality starts from right-handers Griffin Green and Drue Hackenberg that helped the Hokies burn only six pitchers against BC. Fifth-year righty Ryan Metz is projected to lead Tech’s well-rested pitching staff into Wednesday’s action against James Madison. Metz has thrown three-plus innings during each of his last three midweek appearances, toeing a 1.93 ERA during those outings while recording nine strikeouts against one walk. Overall, Metz’s 2.30 season ERA stands as the second lowest on the Hokies’ staff among pitchers who have thrown 15 or more innings this season.

New Ballclub: Since meeting six weeks ago in Harrisonburg – the program’s first series meeting since 2014 – Virginia Tech is a different baseball club. On Monday, the Hokies broke their program record for highest all-time D1Baseball poll placement (set a week ago), ascending to No. 7. Tech is considered a top-10 team in five of the six leading college baseball polls, peaking at No. 5 in this week’s reveal of Perfect Game’s top 25 rankings. Upon visiting the Dukes in March, the Hokies were three games into what became a five-game losing streak, burdened by their 14-inning loss at then-No. 13 Georgia Tech that had concluded their nine-hour doubleheader in Atlanta. Tech offered JMU little resistance, settling for two runs on six hits – season lows that were revisited on April 22 at Boston College. Though the Hokies went on to outhit the Dukes, 6-4, Tech’s staff conceded 12 free bases to JMU, accounting for seven walks, three hit batsmen and two wild pitches. Shaking off its 5-2 defeat that night to James Madison, Virginia Tech has since posted an 18-4 record, flexing an offense that continues to rank top-five nationally in batting average (.320), slugging percentage (.595), doubles (100) and home runs (80). The Hokies have also climbed inside the top 50 NCAA Division I pitching staffs in ERA (4.18) – the fifth best mark in among ACC programs – while placing 10th in fielding percentage (.981).

Hammerin’ Duo: Pulling into Wednesday’s midweek contest with 80 home runs, Virginia Tech is four home runs away from tying the program’s ACC-era record, as set during the 2017 season (84). The Hokies’ 80 home runs are tied with Georgia Tech for the third most hit by an NCAA Division I program this spring, trailing the pace of No. 1 Tennessee (93) and Old Dominion (88). shortstop Tanner Schobel and catcher Cade Hunter co-lead Tech with 13 home runs apiece while pacing the squad with 53 and 51 RBIs, respectively. On Tuesday, Hunter and Schobel were both named to D1Baseball’s list of the top six Draft Risers for the 2022 MLB Draft.

UP NEXT
no. 7 Virginia Tech will compete in the Commonwealth Clash against No. 11 Virginia, beginning a three-game ACC series in Charlottesville on Friday, April 29. First pitch at Davenport Field at Disharoon Park is scheduled for 6 pm

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