Virginia Tech baseball’s hot start to the season continued over the weekend as the Hokies picked up three more wins. After sweeping UNC Greensboro and defeating Radford, Tech has improved to 7-0 on the season.
This marks the fourth time in program history that the Hokies have started a season 7-0 and is also the Hokies’ longest winning streak since the 2015 season, when Tech won seven straight games from April 26th to May 5th.
After weather pushed last weekend’s games back, Tech started a two-game series against UNC Greensboro on Sunday afternoon. The Hokies scored in each of the first three innings on their way to a 12-4 victory over the Spartans. Four Hokies notched multiple hits on the day, including left fielder Tanner Thomas, who finished 4-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
Right fielder Kerry Carpenter continued his impressive start to his Virginia Tech career, going 2-for-4 on the day with one run and three RBIs.
Sophomore Ian Seymour got the win on the mound, pitching five innings and giving up just one run on five hits while striking out three batters.
Game two of the series was a little less eventful.
Tech won 2-1 thanks to one-run innings in the fifth and seventh. Monday’s game marked the first time this season that the Hokies did not score in the first inning.
Nick Owens scored on a double by Luke Horanski in the fifth inning to tie the game 1-1. Carpenter homered later in the seventh inning to give the Hokies the go-ahead run. He finished 1-for-3 on the night.
Jack Dellinger picked up his first win of the season, pitching 3.2 innings of relief and allowing just two hits while striking out five batters. Zach Brzykcy earned his second save of the season, striking out one batter while allowing no hits in the ninth inning.
While Monday’s game was a close one, Tuesday’s contest against Radford was even closer to giving the Hokies their first loss of the season. Tech trailed 7-6 with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Horanski stepped up to the plate with a runner on and belted one out of the park for a walk-off home run.
The win put the Hokies at 3-0 in one-run games this season. Last year’s team went just 5-11 in games that were decided by one run.
Nick Owens led the team this time with three hits, finishing 3-for-4 on the night with two runs scored. Carpenter went 2-for-5 with a run scored and three RBIs.
Brzykcy picked up his first win of the season, pitching the ninth inning. Peyton Alford pitched 2.2 solid innings of relief, allowing one run on two hits and striking out five batters.
Though seven games is a pretty small sample, some players have already stood out for the Hokies. Junior Kerry Carpenter is third on the team with a .357 batting average, but leads with a .750 slugging percentage and 21 total bases. A transfer from St. John’s River State College, Carpenter is also tied for the team lead with three home runs on the season. He shares that stat with Horanski, who also leads the team with 17 RBIs.
Freshman Carson Taylor has been a hitting machine so far, batting .423 for the Hokies. He’s drawn five walks as well to bump his on-base percentage up to a team-high .531.
On the mound, Seymour leads the team with 10 innings pitched and 10 strikeouts. His two wins so far are the most of the rotation.
Multiple pitchers are tied with a 0.00 ERA at this point, bringing the team ERA to just 1.83. That mark puts the Hokies at ninth in Division I.
The Hokies stay in Blacksburg this weekend to take on Bryant in a three-game series. Tech has a connection with the Bulldogs, as assistant coach Ryan Fecteau had coaching success with pitchers at Bryant.
So far this season, Bryant is just 2-4. They’ve played two series, one against Abilene Christian and one against No. 1 LSU. They were able to get two wins against Abilene Christian, but were swept on the road against LSU.
With the level that Tech has been playing at this year, the Hokies should be able to keep the wins coming this weekend. The series against Bryant begins Friday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m.
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics
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