Griffin Stieg had just thrown his 14th pitch of the first inning to Kyle Gurney early Sunday afternoon. Then, lightning struck in the proximity of English Field.
The strike meant the game would go into a 30-minute delay, with the 30-minute clock being reset after each bolt, but with the game having already been pushed back from its original 1pm start time to 2:30, the coaches met halfway and decided there was no use in playing what would have been the series finale.
In the end, Sunday produced a whopping seven-minute no contest.
While weather has been a problem for Virginia Tech (28-16, 11-12 ACC) in 2023, it may have helped the Hokies this weekend as they were able to claim a sweep in their first doubleheader win of the season while avoiding an additional game against a poor RPI ranking team.
On Saturday, Tech took two games against Bowling Green (16-27, 9-16 MAC), 13-2 and 12-0, thanks to an overall team performance.
The Hokies were again without star outfielder and projected first round MLB Draft pick Jack Hurley.
Hurley, who injured his hand after being hit by a pitch on April 22, has now missed eight games in a row, but it didn’t stop the “Hammering Hokies” from living up to their namesake on Saturday, as the team batted in 25 runs between both games in the double header.
Carson Jones opened up the first game with a 452 foot homer to start Tech’s day at the dish.
The junior outfielder has been a great contributor for the Hokies since sliding into the leadoff spot against UVA, and the trend continued on Saturday, as Jones tallied seven hits in nine at bats, knocking two 450 plus foot homers out of English Field, with four RBIs.
Another big contributor for VT was third baseman Carson DeMartini - who has been in the DH role since injuring his throwing shoulder against Georgia Tech on April 15.
DeMartini, the star sophomore from Virginia Beach, was awesome in the series opener, hitting a sac-fly in the sixth inning, and a RBI double in the ten-run eighth inning plus a grand slam, his ninth home run of 2023.
The pitching staff was excellent as well, with Miami transfer Anthony Arguelles and Preseason All-American Drue Hackenberg both putting up quality starts.
Arguelles started game one, throwing 98 pitches in 6.2 innings, striking out an NCAA personal best nine batters, while allowing zero earned runs on three hits and three walks.
In game 2, Hackenberg tossed 94 pitches in six innings, punching out nine while allowing only five hits. Both starters picked up the win in convincing fashion.
Despite the two runs allowed between both games, no Hokie pitcher allowed an earned run, with a dominant bullpen outing from a combination of Jonah Hurney, Brady Kirtner, Peter Sakellaris, Matthew Sivering, and Tommy Szczepanski.
Following the sweep, Tech sits at 50 in the national RPI ranking. They are trailing No. 10 Duke (14-9 ACC) by three games for the lead in the ACC Coastal division, and are also sitting behind No. 11 Miami, No. 21 Virginia, and North Carolina.
Virginia Tech has two ACC series left in 2023, at home against Clemson next weekend, and on the road at No. 2 Wake Forest to conclude the season. Both teams sit atop the Atlantic division.
The Hokies will next be in action on Wednesday against Liberty - who beat Tech 7-3 on April 11th