Hughes — never afraid to switch up the starting lineup — began the game with Gabe Ortiz leading off, regular leadoff hitter Zagunis batting fifth and freshman Helms making his third start of the season.
“Somebody’s got to step up and play fundamentally sound baseball,” Hughes said. “I don’t care how many injuries we have, we left so many guys in scoring position against Florida State, just get over the injuries.”
While Hughes would never admit it, the injuries are taking a huge toll on what looked like a promising start to the season.
The Hokies are still without the services of senior Ronnie Shaban, the team’s normal first baseman and closer. He’s still battling a hamstring injury he reaggravated on March 20 against Cornell. He will likely miss the Boston College series this weekend.
Jake Atwell, the Hokies’ starting right fielder and middle of the lineup bat, is now in a cast after cracking his hamate bone in his hand.
“We originally thought it was broken, which is eight weeks (of recovery time),” Hughes said. “We got a CAT scan, which said it was partially healed, which is great news. It could be two to four (weeks) in a cast, which we’re hoping. He’s a dynamic offensive player for us with his power and speed.”
Temporary closer Manny Martir, who moved from the rotation to the closer role earlier this month, is sidelined with inflammation in his pitching elbow. The training staff is monitoring his progress.
“The MRI’s are all clean, but he’s really flamed up,” Hughes said. “He’s pitched a lot and gone through so many injuries, it’s just wear and tear of an old baseball arm.”
Tuesday night was Military Appreciation Night at English Field, as the Hokies honored service men and women during the game. The Corps of Cadets were in attendance, and Sean Grindlay, an Air Force cadet, threw an honorary first pitch.
Up next: Andrew Aizenstadt will start the finale game of the two-game series this evening, as the Hokies host the Terriers at English Field at 5:30 p.m. Aizenstadt, who has a 5.40 ERA in three starts this year, will look to sweep Wofford after the Hokies’ win Tuesday night. Tech will be going for its 13th straight non-conference win.