Virginia Tech Baseball’s Season Comes To An End In Blowout Loss To No. 12 NC State

Brett Renfrow and Virginia Tech baseball ended their season on Wednesday night. (Morgan Gay)

Virginia Tech dropped its second game in as many nights at the 2024 ACC Baseball Championship in Charlotte, N.C., losing 19-9 to No. 12 NC State in eight innings in the final game of its season on Wednesday.

The Wolfpack (33-19) registered 20 hits and nine walks, scoring multiple runs in four of the eight innings it went to the plate, including two six-spots in the third and the eighth. The Hokies (32-22) fought back at times, plating six in the sixth themselves, but it wasn’t nearly enough to overcome State’s red-hot offense.

Both squads traded scoreless frames in the first two innings before the Pack broke through in the third against Tech starter Brett Renfrow, who gave up five consecutive base hits — four of which scored runs — to make it 6-0. His six earned runs allowed marked a season-high in his stellar freshman campaign. 

State ballooned that lead to 10-0 with four runs off Grant Manning an inning later, punctuated by back-to-back doubles from the star infield duo of Garrett Pennington and Alec Makarewicz.

Despite getting a run back on a Gehrig Ebel solo homer in the fourth, the Hokies found themselves in danger of being run ruled when the Wolfpack took a 12-1 lead in the sixth inning, but a rally of their own brought them back within striking distance.

After loading the bases with no outs on a pair of singles and a base on balls, a walk from Eddie Eisert and a two-run double from David McCann cut the lead to eight. With two on and two outs, Ebel flew a ball high down the right field line that could’ve been an inning-ender, but second baseman Matt Heavner dropped the ball, allowing two more runs to score. And on the next pitch, Ben Watson singled Ebel home to make it 12-7.

But State was able to punch back with relative ease, getting a solo home run from Eli Serrano in the top of the seventh before plating six more runs in the eighth — five of which came with two outs — to make it 19-7.

The top half of the Wolfpack lineup ate up Tech’s pitching from start to finish. The first six hitters — Serrano, Pennington, Makarewicz, Jacob Cozart, Brandon Butterworth and Alex Sosa — combined to go 18-for-28 (.643) with eight walks, three home runs and 17 RBI. 

NC State was also terrific situationally, hitting 13-for-27 with runners aboard, 11-for-21 with RISP and 6-for-13 with two outs.

Ben Watson set the Virginia Tech single-season record for hits in a campaign, but the Hokies fell short of the NCAA Tournament once again. (Morgan Gay)

All but one Hokie pitcher allowed multiple hits and runs. Matthew Siverling, who only recorded the final out of the eighth inning, was the exception.

Perhaps the lone silver lining from the game for Tech came when it was down to its final out in the bottom of the eighth. After Jake Slade singled and Ebel doubled, Watson roped a two-run double down the right field line. It was his third hit of the game and 93rd of the season, giving him the program record for hits in a single campaign.

In his first season at the D-I level after transferring from D-III Elizabethtown, Watson hit .419 and secured the ACC’s regular-season batting title. He and Ebel both had three hits and three RBI on the night to lead the Hokies. 

And that’s where it ended for Virginia Tech. The loss was its third in run-rule fashion this season after losing 19-0 to Georgia Tech and 13-3 to Virginia, and it was outscored 30-17 across its two games at the ACC Tournament. 

After winning 10 of their first 12 ACC games in 2024 — the program’s best-ever start to league play — the Hokies finished the season dropping 16 of their final 20 conference games and were outscored by 81 runs across those contests (5.06 per game).

As such, their fate is all but certain: a second consecutive year without NCAA Tournament baseball.

Box Score: No. 12 NC State 19, Virginia Tech 9 

8 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. “The top half of the Wolfpack lineup ate up Tech’s pitching from start to finish. The first six hitters — Serrano, Pennington, Makarewicz, Jacob Cozart, Brandon Butterworth and Alex Sosa — combined to go 18-for-28 (.643) with eight walks, three home runs and 17 RBI.”

    The top college teams have hitters up and down the line up – PLUS pitching. Just look at some of the scores. Huge gaps in scores = huge gaps in pitching talent.

  2. I have begun to wonder if practicing/playing in facilities where the wind blows out so often develops bad habits in both the baseball and softball teams. I know everyone loves the long ball and the new trend is home run or strike out, but it looks like people are over-swinging (especially with two strikes or runners on base). I am sure the coaches would be aware of this factor with all the film study and hitting labs, but the teams seem to struggle when the ball doesn’t leave the yard.

    1. This teams problems have nothing to do with hitting. They scored 17 runs in two games – should have won at least one of them.

      Think i would be searching for a new pitching staff.

      1. Top notch pitching is what separates the top 20 from the rest in baseball. More really good pitchers go to college instead of straight to the pros these days, thanks to improved college pitching coaches. They tend to like warm weather. Note that few if any teams north of the Mason-Dixon win in Omaha.

  3. Season started out great but slowly slipped away. Offense was very good for the most part, despite key injuries. The inexperienced pitching staff suffered quickly, and with several injuries, we became reliant on younger talent that may not have been ready for long outings. It was a strong year for the ACC, unfortunately we settled into the middle of the pack. Hopefully we can build on the remaining talent and succeed next season.

    1. Agreed. Is Griffin Green returning? We lose some good seniors, and probably DeMartini as well, but there is a productive core that hopefully stays.

    1. For sure a disappointment just like softball and men’s basketball. Would have, Should have, but did not. Go Hokies, football in 3+ months.

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