All Hokie, All the Time. Period.

Virginia Tech Baseball Board

GalaxHokie

Joined: 10/07/1999 Posts: 785
Likes: 358


Analysis of VT and ACC baseball at the midpoint and remaining schedules.


VT AND ACC BASEBALL AT MIDPOINT OF THE 2021 REGULAR SEASON

Some (long) analysis follows of ACC baseball standings, VT performances so far and listings at the end for each Coastal Division team’s remaining schedule.

STANDINGS at midpoint of ACC baseball season – ACC games through April 5

COASTAL
VT 11-7 (.611)
GT 11-7
Miami 10-7
Pitt 9-9
North Carolina 9-9
UVA 6-12
Duke 5-10

ATLANTIC
Louisville 10-4 (.714)
ND 12-5 (.706)
FSU 10-8
Clemson 8-7
Wake 5-9
NC State 5-10
BC 4-11

Note the uneven number of games. To date: a BC-Wake series was cancelled; a Wake at Miami game was cancelled (and potentially kept Miami from a share of the Coastal lead at this point); a UL-Notre Dame game was “postponed” due to weather; NC State-Duke series was cancelled.

RPI RANKINGS

RPI after games of April 6 (includes RPI of three of VT’s non-conference opponents). This should swing around as schedules even out. The RPI ranks 290 teams.
10. ND
16. Miami
25. VT
27. Pitt
37. Clemson
41. Liberty
46. Wake
47. UNC
52. Duke
59. Louisville
60. FSU
64. BC
67. GT
71. Virginia
72. NC State
89. Radford
94. VCU

RPI rankings above show strength and balance of the ACC:
All 14 ACC teams are in the top 72
Four teams in top 27
Seven teams in top 47
10 teams in top 60

EXPECTATIONS

It’s interesting to compare won-loss performance so far with how the ACC coaches picked the standings in the pre-season poll below. (VT’s pre-season votes were third-lowest in the league. ND, VT and Pitt clearly are the overachievers.):

COASTAL DIVISION (ranked by points, and shows first place votes)
Miami 89 (7)
Virginia 85 (5)
GT 71 (2)
Duke 59
UNC 40
VT 31
Pitt 17

ATLANTIC DIVISION
Louisville 95 (11)
NC State 74 (1)
FSU 73 (1)
Clemson 48 (1)
Wake 45
BC 39
ND 18

THOUGHTS ON REMAINING SCHEDULES

VT may have received the biggest scheduling break in the ACC. Each of the 14 teams was assigned one team it will NOT play in the 2021 regular season. In Tech’s case that team is the Louisville Cardinals, the pre-season pick to win the conference per the coaches’ poll. UL received the most polling points of all teams.

(But Miami got a similarly favorable break in not drawing a series with Notre Dame, which is mere percentage points behind Louisville in the other division.)

Within VT’s division, Miami has a series remaining at UL to close the season. VT hosts Notre Dame the same weekend. The division lead could turn on those series. This is not to overlook Georgia Tech, which is tied with VT for the Coastal lead and won two of three from Louisville, but GT faces a BRUTAL schedule in the second half.

Of the Coastal’s current top three teams, the Hokies arguably have a more favorable remaining schedule than Georgia Tech and Miami. (And, yes, there is balance and anybody can beat anybody).

GT has second half series at VT, at Miami, at Notre Dame, as well as facing FSU, Clemson, UNC.

Miami faces GT and UL, and also Clemson, UNC, Pitt and BC. Miami appears to have a pitching and schedule edge over GT.

VT has series remaining with four of the five lowest teams in the current standings (vs. Wake, Duke, NC State, Virginia), plus Georgia Tech and Notre Dame at home.

It could come down to VT (now 11-7) or Miami (10-7) for the division. Keep in mind the effect of the cancelled game for Miami. Say VT goes 11-7 or 10-8 over the second half and finishes 22-14 or 21-15 in conference play. Miami could go 11-7 and finish 21-14, or 10-8 and 20-15. It could be a half-game final difference at the top. Covid and rainouts can further alter outcomes.

From an NCAA postseason standpoint for VT, even a 9-9 finish would result in a 20-16 ACC record. In the last full college season in 2019, eight ACC teams earned postseason bids and two of them had .500 conference records. In 2013 the Hokies were 15-14 in-conference and third in the Coastal when they hosted an NCAA regional. (The 2013 team finished 40-22 overall.)

A quick comparison of VT-GT-Miami, based on statistical rankings (ACC results only; VT and GT based on 18 games, Miami on 17 games):

Batting
GT: first in avg., .303; first in runs, 129; fifth in HR, 19
VT: third in avg, .270; fourth in runs, 101; second in HR, 23
Miami: ninth in avg, 240; ninth in runs, 80; tied for eighth in HR, 17

Pitching
VT: fifth in ERA, 4.13; second in strikeouts, 211
Miami: sixth in ERA, 4.41; six in strikeouts, 155
GT: eleventh in ERA, 4.95; fourth in strikeouts, 175

Fielding
VT: seventh, .969
Miami: twelfth, .962
GT: thirteenth, .960

PLAYER PERFORMANCES

The Hokies have a share of the Coastal lead based on an 11-7 conference record despite having played four consecutive series without their full rotation of starting pitchers.

Anthony Simonelli was out with an oblique injury in the FSU and Clemson series (VT was 1-2 in each series). Chris Gerard left with an injury after 3 innings against Clemson (leaving VT down 1.5 starters that weekend) and then missed the Pitt and BC series. That left many innings to be backfilled from the relief corps and closers. There is some talk that Gerard is close to returning.

Meanwhile, ace closer Shawn Connolly stepped up and made spot starts against Clemson, Pitt and BC. He is second in saves in the ACC. How’s this for value to the team: in 10 ACC appearances, Connolly has seven saves and has made three starts!

VT pitching ranks fifth out of 14 ACC teams (ERA 4.13). The Hokies’ staff is second in strikeouts at 211, just behind leader FSU’s 217. Tech is sixth in opponents’ batting (.247); 11th-best in walks allowed; tied for first in most hit batters.

YOU MAY NOT REALIZE THE YOUTH OF THIS PITCHING STAFF. There are 27 pitchers on the roster and 21 of them are underclassmen. Seventeen are freshmen. VT has used 22 pitchers overall and 19 in ACC games. Twelve freshmen have appeared for Tech in ACC games. And three freshmen have done all of the catching.

Last weekend was an example of critical contributions from underclassmen filling innings on Friday and Saturday in Gerard’s absence to save Connolly-Heard-Siverling-G. Firoved for Sunday. Freshman Siverling got Sunday’s win and sophomore Firoved got the save. Freshman Griffin Green earned Saturday’s (walkoff) win with 2.2 IP and 4 strikeouts in just his third college appearance and freshman Noah Johnson worked 1.1 innings ahead of him.

Here are VT pitchers who rank in the ACC’s Top 10 in various categories (conference games only): ERA, Gerard, 9th, 2.57; opponents’ average, Gerard, 10th, .211; batters fanned, Alford, 3rd and Connolly 9th; batters struck out looking, Connolly 10th; saves, Connolly, 2nd, with 7; fewest hits allowed, Gerard 8th and Simonelli 9th; fewest runs allowed, Gerard, 3rd; fewest earned runs allowed, Gerard 6th and Heard 10th; wild pitches, Connolly, 5th.

The Hokies rank third in ACC batting (.270) and second in homeruns – VT has hit 23 and FSU leads with 25. VT is third in slugging and second in total bases; third in on-base percentage; third in walks received and #1 in hit batsmen. Only three other teams have struck out more often, however.

Top 10 performers in various offensive categories: hitting, Cross 5th at .368 and Rumfield, 6th at .365; homeruns, Cross 9th with 5; slugging, Cross 7th; on base percentage, Cross 8th, .451; runs scored, Hurley first and Cross 8th; hits, Rumfield 2nd with 27, Cross 3rd with 25, Madden 4th with 24; RBI Madden 4th with 17; HBP Hurley 6th with 5. (Freshman Hurley has four homeruns in ACC games, just outside the top 10.)

Tech ranks 7th in fielding. VT catchers have thrown out 6 of 18 base stealers. Seven teams have a worse caught-stealing percentage, so the Hokies are around the midpoint in defense and defending the running game.

REMAINING SCHEDULES FOR COASTAL DIVISION TEAMS

VT (11-7) four series left vs the five lowest ACC teams; does not play Louisville.
(Future VT opponents ND-UVA-Duke rank 2-3-4 in pitching. VT ranks fifth.)
At Wake
GT
At NC State
UVA
At Duke
ND

Georgia Tech (11-7) no series left vs the five lowest teams
At ND
At VT
FSU
Clemson
At Miami
UNC

Miami (10-7) one series left vs the five lowest teams
At Pitt
Clemson
At UNC
At BC
GT
At UL

North Carolina (9-9) one series left vs the five lowest teams
Duke
At Pitt
Miami
At ND
UL
At GT

Pitt (9-9) three series left vs the five lowest teams
Miami
UNC
At UL
BC
NC State
At Wake

Duke (5-10) two series left vs the five lowest teams
At UNC
Wake
At UVA
At UL
VT
At Clemson

Virginia (6-12) three series left vs the five lowest teams
At Clemson
UL
Duke
At VT
Wake
At BC

Posted: 04/08/2021 at 2:31PM



+40

Insert a Link

Enter the title of the link here:


Enter the full web address of the link here -- include the "http://" part:


Current Thread:
  Playing out perfectly so far this weekend... -- HokiesChemicals 04/10/2021 7:23PM
  Nice to get this for free -- VaTechHokiesACC 04/08/2021 7:35PM
  Thanks. It was fun to delve into this stuff. ** -- GalaxHokie 04/08/2021 7:43PM
  That's a load of work. Thank you! ** -- IB4TECH 04/08/2021 7:15PM
  So is there any chance of hosting a regional? ** -- VTChip 04/08/2021 5:49PM
  VT paid $70k to host the 2013 baseball regional. -- RJHokie 04/08/2021 7:54PM
  I think you are right that VT bore some cost. -- GalaxHokie 04/08/2021 8:10PM
  Good info. Thanks. ** -- GalaxHokie 04/08/2021 10:35PM
  Yep.....exactly right. -- RJHokie 04/08/2021 8:55PM
  Can’t hit worth a ... -- RJHokie 04/08/2021 7:57PM
  Great stuff ... just linked it on the subscriber board. ** -- Will Stewart  04/08/2021 4:02PM

Our Sponsors



vm312