The best way to stay up with all that we do at The Tech Lunch Pail is by becoming a TLP Insider! Sign up for an account and get the best news, inside scoops, and analysis on the Hokies! Learn more

Virginia Tech Baseball Wins Series at Louisville

Carson De Martini 1 VT VMI 2023 From VT
Photo Credit: Virginia Tech Athletics
Ryan Duvall | @RyanGDuvall
Writer/Baseball Beat Reporter

After losing Garrett Michel to a season-ending wrist injury suffered against Stony Brook two weeks ago, you wouldn’t figure that the Virginia Tech Hokies (14-4, 5-1 ACC) would continue to be one of the best power hitting teams in the country.

But here we are, two series into conference play, and Tech is off to its best ACC start in program history - powered by 51 home runs, top five in the nation.

Two big reasons for those 51 long balls are junior third baseman Carson DeMartini and senior outfielder/designated hitter Eddie Micheletti Jr., who have totaled 12 and nine home runs respectively on the season, and combined foreight over the weekend in a 2-1 series victory over the Louisville Cardinals (13-7, 1-2 ACC).

Coming into the Hokies' second conference series of the year, Virginia Tech had won four in a row, including a sweep of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at home.

In game one, seventh year head coach John Szefx sent freshman RHP Brett Renfrow out - Tech’s usual Friday starter thus far in 2024. Renfrow came into the game a perfect 4-0 through four games started, drawing comparisons to Drue Hackenberg, an Atlanta Braves second round selection in the 2023 MLB draft, who started his Hokies' career 4-0 as a freshman on the 2022 Super Regional team.

The Cardinals jumped out early on Renfrow on Friday though, with the Manassas, VA native throwing just 3.2 innings, allowing six hits, four walks, and three runs (two earned) - striking out just two batters.

In fact, almost all of the Hokies' four pitchers thrown on Friday gave up a run to Louisville (David Shoemaker: 1.2 IP, 3 runs, two earned, five base runners; Grant Manning: 2.1 IP, 3 ER, five base runners). Carson Ohl was the only hurler to not allow a run, but he only faced one batter.

The Cardinals would end up winning the series opener 9-6, backed by a strong outing from Sebastian Gongora, a six-foot-five southpaw who went 6.1 innings, striking out eight batters, while allowing just two earned runs - moving to 3-0 on the season.

Virginia Tech bounced back on Saturday with a 12-6 win to even the series and set up a rubber match on Sunday. Rutgers transfer Wyatt Parliament got the ball on Saturday, throwing a stellar first three innings, keeping Louisville scoreless with five strikeouts, prior to the Cardinals striking back with two straight homers to begin the fourth, forcing Parliament out of the game early.

In relief for Parliament was Brady Kirtner, a redshirt junior RHP who returned to the Hokies after refusing to sign with the New York Mets, who selected the reliever in the 12th round of last summer’s MLB draft.

Kirtner had arguably his best career performance for Tech on Saturday, going five innings while allowing only three runs and punching out six Louisville batters - moving to 2-0 on the season in the process.

At the plate on Saturday, the Hokies were powered by two home runs from DeMartini, a bomb from Micheletti Jr., as well as four combined RBIs by their two catchers, Henry Cooke, and freshman David McCann - who has been getting consistent time in the DH role for Tech.

DeMartini one-upped his day on Saturday with three long balls on Sunday to close the series and lead Virginia Tech to an 8-1 win.

Griffin Stieg closed the series out with a stellar start, going to work for 7.2 innings. Over the course of his start, he held Louisville to just one run while getting six Louisville batters out on strikes. Stieg collected his third victory of the season in the series-clinching win.

With an impressive start to the season, and in ACC play, Virginia Tech should certainly be ranked this upcoming week.

The Hokies will host ETSU on Tuesday at 4 pm, before heading north to Boston College for their second consecutive road series over the weekend.

You must login in order to comment on this post.
Loading Indicator