No. 17 Virginia Tech (12-4, 1-2 ACC) flies down to Florida this weekend for a three-game set with Miami (11-6, 2-1 ACC), its first ACC road series of 2023. The Hokies left Blacksburg once already this year to the College of Charleston, which resulted in a series victory for Tech after it took the Saturday and Sunday games with a loss on Friday.
Both Virginia Tech and Miami opened conference play last weekend. Tech lost the series against Boston College – a Friday win followed by two Saturday losses. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, won their series over No. 23 NC State with a victory on Friday and Saturday before losing on Sunday.
Miami was victorious in a mid-week matchup with Florida Atlantic, 7-3, while Tech’s mid-week game at ETSU was canceled due to inclement weather.
Below are the broadcast designations and times:
Friday, March 17: 8 p.m. ET, ACC Network
Saturday, March 18: 7 p.m. ET, ACC Network Extra
Sunday, March 19: 1 p.m. ET, ACC Network Extra
Projected starting pitching matchups (VT vs. Miami):
Friday: Griffin Green (7.79 ERA in 18 innings) vs. Karson Ligon (3.96 ERA in 25 innings)
Saturday: Drue Hackenberg (2.86 ERA in 22 innings) vs. Gage Ziehl (6.75 ERA in 20 innings)
Sunday: Anthony Arguelles (5.74 ERA in 15 ⅔ innings) vs. Alejandro Rosario (9.77 ERA in 15 ⅔ innings)
The Hurricanes were picked to win the Coastal Division with 10 first place votes from ACC coaches while the Hokies were selected fourth (one vote). Historically, Miami has owned the series history with Tech (39-12), but the Hokies have won four of the last six.
Tech won its first three-game set in Coral Gables in program history back in 2021. It took last season’s series for the second-straight year, too, during the football spring game weekend.
Arguelles, who spent two seasons as a reliever at Miami before entering the transfer portal this past summer, makes his return to Coral Gables on Sunday. He pitched in 36 career games with an ERA under five in both years with the Canes.
Pitching wise, the Hokies are ninth in the ACC in ERA (4.38) while Miami is 12th (5.29 ERA). As far as hitting is concerned, Tech ranks fourth in the conference with a .321 average and fifth in home runs with 29. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, are hitting .282, good for 11th in the ACC and 35 home runs, ranking fourth.
Miami’s offense hit the ball pretty well against the Wolfpack in the ACC opener – it scored 17 runs in the first two games, yet just four on Sunday. The Hurricanes are led by infielder Blake Cyr, who’s hit .391 with five homers in 14 games this season. Yohandy Morales, who played with Tech outfielder Jack Hurley on Team USA this summer, has a .354 average with five homers as well.
Tech’s been led by graduate transfer Chris Cannizzaro this season. The Bucknell transfer has hit .461 with five homers that included a two-run walk-off nuke against Charlotte. Carson DeMartini has quietly hit .351 with five doubles and two home runs. Garrett Michel is arguably Tech’s best freshman bat and has cranked three homers and four doubles to go along with a .356 average.
As for individual pitching, Miami switched up its weekend rotation before opening ACC play. Ligon yielded five runs (four earned) in 5 ⅓ innings against the Wolfpack on Friday. He started the Saturday game against Tech last year and surrendered nine runs in 3 ⅔ innings in a 13-2 loss.
Ziehl allowed four runs in an inning – Tanner Schobel’s grand slam – against Tech in Miami’s Sunday win last season and allowed one unearned run in eight innings last Saturday against NC State.
Sunday will be Rosario’s third career start against the Hokies. In the first two, all he did was shove. In 2021, he went seven strong innings in which he allowed three hits, walked one and punched out seven. Last season, he threw 4 ⅓ and yielded one run and four hits in the Sunday win.
As for Green, he went six strong innings during the Friday game in Blacksburg last season against Miami, giving up three runs on seven hits. Hackenberg was even better the next night, surrendering just one earned run (two total) in a career-high eight innings.
Tech bussed down to Charlotte, N.C. and then flew down to Coral Gables on Thursday and the series gets underway on Friday night.
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Seems this team is way over rated. Pitching is awful. Don’t know how to play small ball. Depend too much on hitting home runs. They will be in the lower third of the acc. Taking a page out of the men’s basketball team on under achieving. Big disappointment.
As I write this, Hokies have lost first game on their way to my predicted Miami sweep.
Bussed to Charlotte? WHY, if they flew out of the Burg?
They bussed to Charlotte then flew from there to Coral Gables. Sorry for the confusion.
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