Tech advances to ACC Championship Game

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Virginia Tech defeated Georgia Tech 3-2 on Friday afternoon to advance to Sunday’s ACC Championship Game.  The win moved the Hokies to 38-19 overall, while the Jackets dropped to 34-25.

The Hokies are headed to the ACC Championship Game.

The Hammerin’ Hokies are officially one of the hottest teams in baseball.  With Friday’s win, they have now won eight games in a row, 13 of their last 14, and 16 of their last 18.  They are a lock for at least a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and now have an outside shot at hosting a regional as a #1 seed.

Chad Pinder once again provided a big bat for the Hokies.  He scorched his third homer in as many days, this time opposite field over the right field wall to tie the game at one.  Later he provided the game-winning sacrifice fly.

However, it was Virginia Tech’s pitching that continued to be the story.  Devin Burke went 7.2 innings, surrendering just one earned run on seven hits.  He walked just one batter and struck out four.  He ran his record to 10-3, and his 10 wins are tied with NC State’s Kent Emanuel for the most wins in the ACC this season.

VT closer Clark Labitan pitched the last 1.1 innings to record his 10th save of the season.  He did not a allow a baserunner, and he coaxed a popup with a runner on second base in the eighth to end Georgia Tech’s final threat of the game.

Over their last 18 games, the Hokies have beaten UVA (#3 RPI) three times, Florida State (#9 RPI) once and Georgia Tech (#22 RPI) once.  VT was #11 in the RPI (according to WarrenNolan.com) heading into Friday’s game, and they could potentially move into the top 10.

Tech still has an outside shot at hosting an NCAA regional, and their chances would improve with a Clemson loss to UNC tonight.

The Hokies will play either UNC or NC State for the ACC Championship on Sunday afternoon.  #1 starter Joe Mantiply will get the ball.  First pitch is scheduled for 1pm, and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

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2 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Chris, I know Tech’s chances of hosting are not great, but have you or Will heard anything about if they were to get selected as a #1 seed, is there any chance they would host in Blacksburg? I know you mentioned them being the #1 seed in Indiana as a possibility. I was hoping the Salem Red Sox were on the road next weekend and that could be a possibility, but unfortunately they are at home.

    It would be great if they were selected and they actually hosted, but in my experiences I don’t think English Field would be big enough for the Selection Committee to put a regional there. I know the criteria is more significant regarding Super Regionals, but I have seen a few past teams with what I believe had more space/seating than Tech, be denied as a host site and were placed as a #1 seed somewhere else.

  2. This is an incredible turnaround for the program, and it has been amazing to watch. I have always rooted for all Tech sports, but I admittedly have not been very good about consistently following the baseball program in recent years. I hate to say it, because I’ve always despised bandwagon fans, but since they rarely had games on TV or even ESPN 3, there wasn’t a whole lot I could have followed anyways haha.
    But I played college baseball and it has always been my passion, so for me personally this has been incredible to watch, because I have never had a team to root for in the postseason (at least not very far into the postseason)!

    I mentioned this on another board, and obviously we can only say this in hindsight because of the HUGE performances by Mantiply, Markey, and Burke to go deep into their respective games, but playing the first 3 days is now a blessing and big advantage for the Hokies. They will have their entire staff available with the exception of Markey and Burke, even though no one in the bullpen except for maybe Labitan even needs the rest. In my opinion, baseball has always been the sport where you will find the most cases of not necessarily the best team (on paper, throughout the entire season, or whatever other extended data you use) winning, but the hottest team that goes on a run late in the year.

    Pinder has just been doing stupid things with the baseball bat. I read on a few different baseball/draft sites before the tournament that most people would not be shocked if he jumped into the 1st round of the draft, and I would assume those chances have improved dramatically. I’m obviously not an expert, but I really believe if he stays healthy that he will be a big league player sooner rather than later (with as much confidence as you can give within reality/low-percentages regarding any prospect). I know that will play itself out later, but he is really playing at a level above everyone else in this tournament, with a few exceptions that are putting up great numbers themselves.

    Anyways, sorry for the ramble, but keep rollin’ boys!

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