After a hot start to the 2017 campaign, Virginia Tech baseball took a step back this weekend when they were swept at home in a four game series by Binghamton. The Bearcats have now won seven straight after losing their first three games of the year to improve to 7-3, while the Hokies now fall to 8-5.
For Tech, it was a matter of close, one run losses. On Saturday, the Hokies lost both games of the doubleheader in extra innings. Meanwhile, Tech fell on Sunday by the score of 2-1 with both of the Bearcats’ runs being unearned.
“We can’t let this be a lost weekend,” said head coach Pat Mason. “Obviously it’s not a very good weekend, but if it’s a weekend that we learn from and take something from, then in the long run it can be a positive weekend. We lost three one run games, didn’t get the big hit. We have to be better in those situations. That will be the adversity to see how good our practice is tomorrow. See how tough our guys are.”
On Sunday, Nick Anderson took the bump and answered the call with a gutsy performance. He pitched eight innings, struck out six batters, and lowered his earned run average to 1.68 after giving up zero earned runs.
“I think Nick was tremendous today,” said Mason. “He was awesome. He deserved to win. He deserved to have a shutout really. He was like that last week at Nevada in a lot tougher conditions with wind really blowing out. In terms of what Nick did, that was awesome. I don’t want to take anything away from Nick, but that’s what’s expected out of an ACC weekend arm. He pitched awesome.”
Also of note, Sam Fragale continued his otherworldly home run pace by mashing three more dingers on the weekend. He now has eight home runs this year.
One of the great things about baseball is that you don’t have a lot of time to sulk in defeat. If you lose a game, you’re going to be right out there the next day, ready to move on. Virginia Tech concludes their six game homestand with a matchup against Niagara on Tuesday before traveling to William & Mary on Wednesday.
“I just told them they have to figure out how to make this weekend something that makes us a better team,” Mason said. “Whether it’s individual or collectively as a team. We can’t let it be for naught. I told them to keep their heads high and come ready to practice tomorrow and we’ll get better.
“We have a veteran group. I think those guys will turn the page quick. It is one of the good things about baseball. We said it this morning and yesterday morning, but we can clear our heads tonight, have a good practice tomorrow, and be ready to go Tuesday.”
The weekday affairs with Niagara and William & Mary are the Hokies’ last opportunity to figure things out before ACC play begins. Tech travels to Durham, NC to take on Duke for a weekend series from March 10-12.
In the meantime, it will be a focused effort from Mason and Co. as they look to respond to the woes of this past weekend.