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Virginia Tech got a huge series win over #1 Florida State. [Credit: Harley Taylor][/caption]The Virginia Tech Hokies got off to a fast start, but had some struggles recently getting swept in a four-game series by Binghamton and losing a mid-week game at William & Mary before having an okay opening ACC weekend winning 1 of 3 games at Duke. This past weekend, the Hokies came home for their first home ACC series of the year but faced about as hard of an opponent you could face on paper in #1 Florida State.
The thing is, baseball games aren't played on paper and the Hokies showed that they weren't afraid of the challenge of facing the top-ranked team in America.
After losing game 1, the Hokies took the last two games of their three-game series to win a series over the top-ranked Florida State Seminoles, getting the Hokies to 13-9 overall including 3-3 in the ACC. The series win definitely is a big boost for what has been an up-and-down Virginia Tech season that involved the Hokies getting off to an 8-1 start before being swept in a four-game series at home by Binghamton.
With that said, take a look at how it all happened here.
Game 1: #1 Florida State 9, Virginia Tech 2
Virginia Tech didn't get off to a great start against Florida State losing 9-2 in a game that was close early but the Seminoles opened it up with four runs in the sixth in what was Packy Naughton's final inning of the day followed by a grand slam in the seventh that put the game well out of reach for the Hokies.
Naughton only gave up one run in his first five innings of work, but struggled in his sixth and final inning giving up four runs that helped Florida State start to take over the game. Graham Seitz and Kit Scheetz each were credited with giving up 2 runs in the seventh with Scheetz allowing the home run and neither getting an out while Paul Hall Jr. and Dylan Hall put together three scoreless innings of work after that.
The Hokies' bats were quiet with only six hits and the two runs coming from a hit-by-pitch with Mac Caples at the plate and a sacrifice fly from J.D. Mundy. Sam Fragale and Joe Freiday Jr both had two hits each in this game while Jack Owens and Garrett Hudson also each had a hit in this game. However, Florida State did get 10 strikeouts in this game in what was one of the Hokies' worst offensive performances of the season.
Game 2: Virginia Tech 13, #1 Florida State 12
The Hokies found themselves down by as much as 10-2 in the middle of the fourth a game that saw a significant weather delay midway through, but the Hokies were able to rally and come from behind to beat the Seminoles 13-12 in what was a big win for the Hokies over top-ranked FSU. Virginia Tech's bats came alive while the bullpen stepped up after the weather delay to get the Hokies the victory.
Andrew McDonald struggled giving up 9 runs, 8 hits, and 4 walks in only 3.1 innings before Joey Sullivan gave up a run and got two outs. Connor Coward made a strong case that he should be in the weekend rotation and not the weekday starter with four shutout innings post-rain delay with 3 strikeouts and only 1 hit and 3 walks allowed to go to 4-0 on the season with Aaron McGarity getting his fourth save of the season despite giving up 2 runs in the ninth inning.
Tom Stoffel had a big game going 2-for-4 at the plate with four RBIs including a three-run home run that came in the Hokies' five-run fourth inning to help get them back in the game. Mac Caples also had a big game going 2-for-3 at the plate including a solo home run and 2 RBIs while also getting a walk in what was a strong day for Caples who has pushed his way into the Hokies' starting lineup.
Game 3: Virginia Tech 17, #1 Florida State 0
On Sunday, the Hokies made a huge statement in what was one of the best single-game performances from a Virginia Tech baseball team in years, absolutely demolishing #1 Florida State on their way to a 17-0 shutout win over the Seminoles. The Hokies even got under Florida State's skin in this game when Mac Caples got a stolen base with the Hokies up by a double-digit number of runs, frustrating Florida State's manager that the Hokies would go for a steal up by that much.
Nick Anderson was a star in this game throwing 8 shutout innings with 5 strikeouts while only giving up 5 hits and 2 walks on his way to improving his record to 4-1 on the season with Kit Scheetz throwing a scoreless ninth inning. Anderson has emerged as the Hokies' top starter going 4-1 with a 1.74 ERA in six games including 4 starts with Anderson being taken out of the lineup to focus on his role as a starter. With Anderson's strong start, you have to wonder how long till we see Anderson at the front of the rotation for the Hokies as the Friday starting pitcher.
Sam Fragale and J.D. Mundy led the Hokies with 3 RBIs each as Fragale went 2-for-6 while Mundy went 1-for-4 with Fragale and Mundy both having home runs in this game. Tom Stoffel and Garrett Hudson also had strong performances with both going 3-for-4 at the plate with 3 RBIs as Hudson has pushed his way into the starting lineup with Matt Dauby losing his spot as Hudson has become a solid hitter in the bottom half of the Hokies' lineup.
Jack Owens and Ryan Tufts both had solid games with 2 hits and 2 RBIs each as the Hokies have a solid middle infield pair doing a good job at setting table at the top of the Hokies' order. Rahiem Cooper had a strong game as he went 4-for-5 with 2 RBIs while Mac Caples had 2 walks and scored 2 runs in this game.