Tuesday’s game between the Hokies and the Keydets will air live on ESPN+ with coverage beginning at 6 pm Fans 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.
|tue.||March 29||6 p.m.||VMI||ESPN+||WRAD-FM 101.7|
• Tuesday: Ryan Okuda (2-1, 3.86 ERA) vs. JT Inskeep (0-0, 2.08 ERA)
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
• Midweek Mania: Virginia Tech is 3-1 during midweek action this season and heads into Tuesday’s tilt in Lexington with hopes of earning its first such victory away from English Field. Through four midweek contests this spring, the Hokies have batted .300 and slugged .477 to their opponents’ respective marks of .234 and .305. True freshman third baseman Carson DeMartini leads Tech in midweek hitting, having gone 7-for-14 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and team-best totals in both runs scored (six) and RBIs (five). Jack Hurley (4-for-10), Gavin Cross (6-for-17) and Tanner Schobel (5-for-15) are each batting north of .300 during midweek play with Cross accounting for two doubles and one of his ACC-leading four triples. Nearly half of Tech’s 34 stolen bases have been swiped during midweek games this season at a perfect rate: 16-for-16. On the mound, fifth-year left-hander Ryan Kennedy leads the Hokies in midweek innings pitched (11.0), sporting a 1-0 record and a 1.64 ERA to go along with his seven strikeouts. Like Kennedy, Jonah Hurney has feasted on midweek batters out of Tech’s bullpen, yielding nine strikeouts, no walks and a .158 opposing batting average while securing the Hokies’ lone save of the season.
• Riding High: Unable to complete its weekend series at No. 12 Notre Dame, Virginia Tech is still riding the high of Friday’s magical, come-from-behind victory against the Irish. Jack Hurley’s solo home run during the eighth inning – his second of the game and ninth of the season – spurred the Hokies to score seven unanswered runs and turn their 5-3 deficit into a 10-5 victory. Tanner Schobel connected on the game-tying double before Tech plated five more runs during a wild bases-loaded rally that culminated with Notre Dame’s three-run error on Nick Holesa’s bunted ball. Since the beginning of the 2021 season, Tech has sported an 8-9 record against opponents ranked in D1Baseball‘s top 25, prevailing during four of six regular season series. Within their current four-game winning streak, the Hokies have averaged 13.4 runs and 14.5 hits per nine innings. Tech’s offense – which ranks seventh nationally in batting average (.325) and second in slugging percentage (.609) – has cranked out 15 doubles, two triples and 11 home runs across its latest four-game hot spurt. On the mound, the Hokies’ hurlers have flaunted a 3.75 ERA across their last four games – a mark that dips to 1.96 when considering Tech’s bullpen arms.
• Midweek Opposition: Virginia Tech’s history with VMI in baseball dates back to 1897 when the two programs met for their inaugural meeting in Roanoke. Since then, the Hokies have won more than 70 percent of their series meetings with the Keydets, arriving at Tuesday’s game with the commanding, 132-49-1 lead in the all-time series. History is no indication of lopsided affairs as VMI has played Tech within two runs during each of the last two series meetings. Last season, the Hokies trailed the Keydets as late as the seventh inning, relying on TJ Rumfield’s three-run homer to take the lead and etch in the 7-5 final score line. Ryan Okuda started the 2021 meeting for Tech, striking out four batters and walking none across three and two-thirds innings despite being chased during VMI’s three-run fourth inning. Okuda is projected to start the teams’ first of two head-to-head meetings during the 2022 season on Tuesday.
Virginia Tech will open a three-game ACC road series on Friday, April 1, at No. 18 North Carolina. First pitch at Bryson Field at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill is scheduled for 6 pm