History was officially made today in Blacksburg when the Virginia Tech baseball team received the #4 national seed, the highest seed in program history and the first time that the Hokies know that their path to Omaha is fully through Blacksburg going into the tournament.
This comes after their winningest season of the 21st Century which included an ACC regular season title led by a high-powered offense and a quality pitching staff to support it.
To see this success materialize into the #4 national seed had head coach John Szefc reflecting on all the work that led to this point.
"This is the kind of day that you work for as a coach pretty much the whole year to try to get your team in a position like this," Szefc said. "It's been a real special year for us, happy to be in this position. Now a different type of work begins and it's kind of the next stage of your season."
This also comes as Szefc will get to lead his team at a home regional for the first time in his career (though he was a national seed at Maryland once but the Terps didn't have the facilities to host a regional).
The success and the national seed also bring plenty of expectations that John Szefc is more than aware of.
"As a 1 seed in a regional, there's a different level of expectation. They're expecting you to win. Not that you're not expecting your own team to win," Szefc said. "It's a big deal because typically when you're hosting a regional, the committee is telling you that they are expecting you to win a regional.
"The order of seeds is typically the order they think that they are going to finish in. I know every regional I've been in, you're always hoping that you can at least finish at the seed that you're seeded at because that's where people expect you to be. I don't think it's any different being a 1 seed. You're expecting to go out, being at home, and win."
Szefc also understands that the Hokies will face some strong competition from their three opponents from Wright State who took 1 of 3 when they came to Blacksburg earlier this season to Gonzaga who was ranked 12th recently by D1 Baseball to Ivy League champions Columbia.
"I think the committee gave us (three) strong teams. We played a three-game series against Wright State already, that's ironic, and we'll start to dig in on Gonzaga and Columbia as well. It'll be a competitive regional. I think the people in Blacksburg will appreciate it, and it'll hopefully be good college baseball for them to see," Szefc said.
For star outfielder and future first round pick Gavin Cross, he sees the national seed as an extra boost of confidence that the nation recognizes Virginia Tech as a high level team that's more than capable if they keep playing how they've played all year.
"I think it gives us confidence that we know we are a good team, and we've proven it all year. So just continue to do that and play hard," Cross said.
For veteran leadoff hitter and player clubhouse leader Nick Biddison, it's the same message of continuing to play the way they have all year and holding themselves to the same high expectations that have gotten them into position to contend for a national title and be the #4 national seed.
"Everyone has expectations, but we have expectations for ourselves. That's the only expectations that we really care about. Sticking to our daily routine, our daily practices, and playing the same game that we've always played all year," Biddison said.
The stage in Blacksburg shifts from Tech Softball Park to English Field this weekend with #4 Virginia Tech Baseball more than ready to show why they are a worthy #4 national seed and push for two great weekends to reach Omaha for the first time in school history.