With huge expectations for the 2013 season, the Virginia Tech baseball team opened their season in style.
The Hokies swept their first weekend of play, winning two games against both Kent State and UNC Wilmington. The Hokies outscored their opponents 34-12 over the four games and scored at least seven runs in each game.
Tech (4-0) is now ranked No. 24 on Baseball America’s Top 25 Tracker.
Against Kent State on Friday afternoon, the Hokies broke a 7-7 tie in the ninth and held on for a 10-9 win. ACC Player of the Week Chad Pinder went 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run and five RBI.
Pinder homered again Saturday, as the Hokies defeated Kent State 8-1. Brad Markey, a junior college transfer, got the win in his first start for Tech, going seven innings while allowing just one run.
Devin Burke carried the Hokies to a 9-0 victory in Saturday’s second game, going six innings while striking out six UNC Wilmington batters. At the plate, Tyler Horan and Matt Dauby each had three-hit games, while Gary Schneider and Sean Keselica each homered.
On Sunday, the Hokies completed their weekend sweep with a 7-2 win over UNC Wilmington. Mark Zagunis, a preseason All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, went 4-for-5 with a double and three RBI. Zagunis went 8-for-16 at the plate and stole four bases over the weekend.
Tanner McIntyre and Jake Joyce combined for 12 strikeouts and allowed just three hits on the mound.
Managing editor of College Baseball for Perfect Game Kendall Rogers said during his chat Monday that he was impressed with the Hokies.
“I was really impressed with the way the Hokies pitched over the weekend with Tanner McIntyre and Brad Markey both looking very good,” Rogers said. “But the offensive production isn't surprising. ... VT has an excellent lineup with Rash, Pinder, Horan, and others. Loaded.”
The sweep is just the second time since 1993 that the Hokies have opened their season with four straight wins. Tech has now won 22 straight nonconference games as well.
The Hokies will hold their season opener on Friday afternoon against Temple at 3 p.m. Tech will play Holy Cross (3:30 p.m.) and Temple (6 p.m.) on Saturday, then Holy Cross again on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. All games will be broadcast on Hokies All Access.