Nine Hokies Earn All-ACC Honors While John Szefc Earns Coach of the Year

Nine Hokies Earn All-ACC Honors While John Szefc Earns Coach of the Year
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics

Will Locklin | @@locklin_will

TLP: Writer
May 24, 2022

With another season in the books, the awards and honors have come in for the 2022 ACC baseball regular season. To no surprise, Virginia Tech made out very well with nine Hokies earning various All-ACC honors. Quite the step up from the 2021 season where Gavin Cross was the only All-ACC team selection.

Virginia Tech baseball had a landmark season for their program. It was easily the best in school history with them winning the ACC for the first time, their third 40 win regular season in program history, and the number two spot in the college baseball rankings. For all the success they’ve had as the team, they can celebrate many of the individuals who made it a historic season for a day or 2 before the ACC Tournament

Starting with the head man himself John Szefc, who won the ACC baseball Coach of the Year award. Szefc inherited the keys to the Tech baseball kingdom in 2018 when the program was on rockier ground. In 2013, Virginia Tech had a 40-win season but struggled to repeat that success in the following four years in the Pat Mason era. From 2014-to 17 they went 90-126 and couldn't break the 27-win mark.

Needless to say, Szefc had his work cut out for him when he came to Blacksburg. But in his four years, he’s set the table up perfectly for this rise by getting the players he wants in his development system and now the results speak for themselves.

Virginia Tech had four Hokies make the All-ACC First Team. The list includes Jack Hurley, Gavin Cross, Tanner Schobel, and Drue Hackenberg. For Cross, this is his second First Team selection in as many years. Cross’ season slash line was .319/.403/.618 with a 1.021 OPS. He also had 13 home runs, 31 total extra-base hits, and 38 RBIs.

Doubles king Jack Hurley was an easy First Team selection. Especially due to his scorching hot first half of the season. Hurley finished the year with a monster .383/.468/.709 slash line and a 1.177 OPS. Hurley also got himself a team-leading 75 hits and 23 doubles on the year with 13 home runs himself. Hurley would be the best statistical hitter on most college baseball teams, but he just might have been undone by fellow All-ACC First Team member Tanner Schobel. He raked at the plate in all areas. Schobel finished the year with a .366/.450/.688 slash line. But he lit up the diamond in other departments, hitting a team-leading 16 home runs and 66 RBIs.

The final spot on the All-ACC First Team belongs to ace freshman pitcher Drue Hackenberg. He stepped up as the ace pitcher Virginia Tech desperately needed and played admirably in his first season playing on English Field as a Hokie. Hackenberg’s numbers include a 2.44 ERA, 78 strikeouts to 15 walks across 85 innings pitched, and a 10-1 record.

Hackenberg is the only Hokie to have more than one All-ACC honor. He also made the All-ACC Freshman Team which marks the second year in a row that a Virginia Tech Hokie has made both First Team All-ACC and the Freshman Team for baseball. Carson DeMartini was the other member of the Freshman Team that represents Virginia Tech. He hit lower in the Tech batting order but still authored a good season. DeMartini had an OPS over 1.000 at 1.083 and was top five on the team in both home runs and RBIs.

On the All-ACC Second and Third Team, Virginia Tech had three honorees. These included Cade Hunter on the Second Team and Nick Biddison and Griffin Green on the Third Team. Cade Hunter delivered a strong season which can be shown in his impressive .335/.441/.654 slash line. Hunter hit fifth or sixth in the lineup consistently for the Hokies and thrived at driving in the likes of Cross, Hurley, and Schobel.

The table setter for those guys was Tech’s trusty leadoff man Nick Biddison. He had an excellent contact season with 72 total hits and 113 total bases on the season. Biddison came in with a stellar .336 BA and a reliable .418 OB%. The second Third Team member was Tech’s key Friday starter pitcher Griffin Green. Green completed his season having a 4.39 ERA, 58 strikeouts to 25 walks, and a 7-2 record. He was the second rock of this stellar pitching staff and got a well-deserved All-ACC honor.