No. 8 Virginia Tech to host VMI, visit Radford this week

NOIRSBOURG – Boasting their highest national ranking since joining the ACC, the No. 8 Virginia Tech baseball team (23-9) will begin a two-game midweek streak on Tuesday, April 19, when they host VMI (12-25) at English Field at Atlantic Union Bank Park (6 p.m.). The Hokies next travel to Radford (12-23) on Wednesday, April 20 for a 6 p.m. game against the Highlanders at Sherman Carter Memorial Stadium.

Tuesday’s home game between Tech and VMI will be shown live on ACC Network Extra while the Hokies’ away game on Wednesday at Radford will be shown live on ESPN+. Fans can also tune in to WRAD-FM 101.7 to listen to both games called by Tech Baseball’s play-by-play radio voice, Evan Hughes.

LIKELY BEGINNERS

Tuesday: ryan kennedy (1-3, 3.98 ERA) vs. Alex LaRou (2-1, 3.00 ERA)

Wednesday: TBD versus TBD

THREE THINGS TO KNOW
Survey Vault: Virginia Tech has rightly benefited from the shakeup that was the reveal on Monday of the D1Baseball 25 top rankings. The Hokies climbed to No. 8 in point-of-sale presentation — a jump of 13 positions after winning their fifth straight ACC series by two games to one against the then No. 1. 2 Miami. As it stands, Tech is the second-highest-ranked ACC team in D1Baseball‘s poll, behind the now-No. 5 Hurricanes along with two SEC teams and two Pac-12 programs. Hokies’ No. 8 ranking also marks their all-time high D1Baseball all-time poll placement. Elsewhere, Virginia Tech cracked the top 10 of Perfect game‘s top 25, earning the No. 9 spot. The Hokies also got to No. 11 in Baseball America‘s top 25, jumped to No. 13 in the USA TODAY Sports baseball coaches poll and ranked No. 16 in the NCBWA top 30. After improving its quadrant one record to 10-7 following its two wins over Miami, Virginia Tech also jumped to No. 26 in NCAA Division I baseball’s RPI.

National Player of the Week: Second-year shortstop Tanner Schobel was named ACC Co-Player of the Week on Monday, sharing consideration with Georgia Tech’s Tim Borden II. Schobel was the catalyst for Tech’s great offensive performance against No. 2 Miami, batting 7-for-14 (.500) against the Hurricanes with a double and three home runs. After scoring seven runs and 10 RBIs against Miami, the second-year infielder helped score 17 of the Hokies’ 30 runs during the series. On Thursday, Schobel recorded his third multi-home run game against ACC competition this season — part of his recent streak that includes eight homers in his last 11 appearances, including a grand slam on Saturday against the Hurricanes. From third in Tech’s batting order, Schobel’s .370 batting average and .717 hitting percentage are both third-best on the team while his 11 home runs and 43 RBI all rank two second in the team behind cade hunter (13 homers, 46 RBIs). As a team, the “Hammerin’ Hokies” continue to rake college baseball; Virginia Tech is the only NCAA Division I team to rank in the top five in batting average (.326, second), slugging percentage (.616, second) and on-base percentage (.428, fifth) . The Hokies have also hit the second-most homers nationally (76) and are equipped with two more double-digit homers (five) than No. 1 Tennessee (three).

Midweek rematches: Virginia Tech is 2-0 this season against its next midweek foes, knocking out both state opponents during its seven-game winning streak that spanned late March and early April. Despite matching both programs in hits on both nights, the Hokies combined to beat their Commonwealth rivals, 23-7, beating Radford at English Field (10-3) while hitting VMI at Lexington (13- 4). Tech has scored in seven of eight offensive innings against the Highlanders, which the Hokies visit on Wednesday. Tech walked eight Radford pitchers while recording five extra hits, coming off a 5-2 walkout after six innings. Against VMI, Tech burned the Keydets for four twisted numbers, rallying behind Cade Hunter’s A 5-on-5 night that featured four runs, a double and two homers. Nick Bidison and Gavin Cross the two recorded multiple hit games from the top two spots in the Hokies roster while Kiernan Higgins played two and two-thirds innings to earn his first win at Tech. The Hokies start the week having won five straight against VMI and Radford.

NEXT
No. 8 Virginia Tech will travel to North Boston where the Hokies will play a three-game ACC series at Boston College between April 22 and April 24. Friday and Sunday’s games will take place at the Eagles home ballpark in Brighton, Massachusetts, while Saturday’s ALS awareness game will take place at America’s most beloved ballpark, Fenway Park.

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