WRAL: NC State pitcher Carlos Rodon was named USA Baseball’s Richard W. “Dick” Case Player of the Year Tuesday, joining the likes of Stephen Strasburg and Ryan Zimmerman. The award is given annually to USA Baseball’s top player while honoring the memory of the organization’s founding executive director and CEO. Rodon, a Holly Springs native, […]
Having won 3 straight and 5 of their last 6, and with Trea Turner back in the everyday lineup, the #25 Wolfpack looks like they may have begun to turn the tide a bit.
They’ll have to play well this weekend to continue that trend however, because the #22 Virginia Tech Hokies come to Raleigh this weekend hoping to steal a series from the Pack and continue their upward arc both nationally and in conference.
Currently, the Pack finds itself in sole possession of 3rd place in the ACC’s Atlantic Division and has gained a game in the standings on both FSU and Clemson since the start of play last weekend.Â State now trails FSU by 3 games and Clemson by only 1.
Maryland and Wake are tied for fourth in the division, a game behind the Wolfpack.
BC still sucking out loud in conference (0-11) after getting swept by Duke last weekend as predicted.Â But they did manage to snap their 15 game losing streak this week and actually have now won 2 straight by taking down UConn (on the road, no less) and Harvard this past week.
So Clemson might have their hands full in Chestnut Hill this weekend as a revived Eagles squad looks to break into the win column in conference.Â Any win they can get vs the Tiggers will only help the Pack.Â But don’t hold you breath.
The Hokies are coming off of a series win at home last weekend against #4 FSU, and they’d love nothing more than to take a road series vs the Wolfpack.
Virginia Tech Hokies
21-9 (7-5 ACC; 4th ACC Coastal)
2012: 34-21 (11-19 ACC; 5th ACC Coastal)
At The Plate
Virginia Tech hits very well for both average and power with a team BA of .295 and 25 round trippers on the year as a team (as compared to .283 and 20 respectively for the Pack).Â They score and average of 7.0 runs per game (6.68 for the Pack).
Chad Pinder (#5, Jr, 3B) leads the team in avg. (.401) and is tied for the team lead in HRs (4).Â He’s also knocked in 27, scored 30 and has stolen 4 bases on 5 attempts.
Mark Zagunis (#2, Soph, C) was a pre-season 2nd team AA pick.Â He currently leads the team in RBIs (30), runs scored (33), and is tied for the lead in HRs (4).Â He also leads the team in stolen bases with 11 on 13 attempts…not too shabby for a catcher.
Tyler Horan (#27, Jr. LF) – (.333, 4HR, 27RBI, 27R, 10 doubles, 3 triples); Andrew Rash (#20, Sr, CF) – (.316, 3HR, 30RBI, 19R, 12 doubles); and Sean Keselica (#25, Soph., 1B/DH/LHP) – (.303, 3HR, 20RBI, 18R), all hit for average and have enough pop to do fast damage at times.
Leadoff man Gary Schneider (#32, Jr, RF/1B) is a newcomer this year and has struggled a bit after having sat out last year after transferring to VT from UMd.Â He’s batting .271 on the year with 1HR, 5 RBI and 22 runs scored.
In The Field
The Hokies’ pitching staff is not flashy, but very solid.Â They have a team ERA of 4.06 and yield an average of 4.83 runs per game (3.63 and 4.48 for the Pack).Â They don’t give up many HRs (13) and opponents are batting .262 against them (18 and .219 for the Pack).Â In general, they manage to eat up innings and keep VT in games, even if not always in spectacular fashion.
The three starters that Pack hitters will face this weekend are:
Brad Markey (#35, Jr, RHP) – 3-2, 3.71ERA, 51.0IP, 3HR, 39Ks, 11BBs, .281 against avg.)
Devin Burke (#13, Jr, RHP) – 5-1, 2.61ERA, 41.1IP, 2HR, 20Ks, 13BBs, .241 against avg.)
Joe Mantiply (#14, Sr, LHP) – 2-0, 3.32ERA, 21.2IP, 0HR, 14Ks, 5BBs, .303 against avg.)
Like their starters, VT has a bullpen that can scatter hits and eat up outs and innings.
Defensively the Hokies are slightly above average (.967 team fld pct) with no huge liabilities in the field.
No. 25 Pack Hosts No. 22 Virginia Tech This Weekend (GoPack.com)
Virginia Tech Baseball Home (HokieSports.com)
Games Schedule – Pitching Probables
- 4/5 Friday 6:30pm – Carlos Rodon vs Brad Markey
- 4/6 Saturday 1pm – Ethan Ogburn vs Devin Burke
- 4/7 Sunday 1pm – Brad Stone vs Joe Mantiply
***All three weekend games vs the Hokies are scheduled to be streamed live over the net via ESPN3, with Saturday’s game scheduled to be televised on RSN/FSS***
|(As Of April 4)|
On The Horizon
State will welcome ECU to town on Tuesday (4/9) for a non-conference game (6pm, ESPN3) before hitting the road next weekend to Chestnut Hill (4/12 – 4/14) for a three game weekend conference series against BC.Â That preview will be interesting but I vow to try to keep the BC trash talk to a minimum.
In fact we should all be pulling hard for a BC sweep of Clemson this weeknd (We believe in you Eagles…you can do it!).Â Incidentally, FSU travels to Coral Gables for three against Miami this weekend, so Go ‘Canes too.
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