Baseball Halfway Point – Virginia Tech Weekend Preview


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.  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.  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.  Any win they can get vs the Tiggers will only help the Pack.  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).  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).  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.  He currently leads the team in RBIs (30), runs scored (33), and is tied for the lead in HRs (4).  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.  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.  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).  They don’t give up many HRs (13) and opponents are batting .262 against them (18 and .219 for the Pack).  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 (

Virginia Tech Baseball Home (

Weekend Notes

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)
School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Florida State 8-4 .667 25-4-0 .862
Clemson 6-6 .500 18-11-0 .621
NC State 5-7 .417 21-10-0 .677
Maryland 4-8 .333 16-12-0 .571
Wake Forest 4-8 .333 17-14-0 .548
Boston College 0-11 .000 5-22-0 .185
School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
North Carolina 9-2 .818 26-2-0 .929
Virginia 9-3 .750 27-3-0 .900
Georgia Tech 8-4 .667 22-7-0 .759
Virginia Tech 7-5 .583 21-9-0 .700
Duke 6-6 .500 17-13-0 .567
Miami 5-7 .417 20-12-0 .625


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.  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!).  Incidentally, FSU travels to Coral Gables for three against Miami this weekend, so Go ‘Canes too.

Be sure to scroll down the front page of the main blog and get caught up on the many recent entries, and make your way over to the SFN Forums and get in on the action there too.  Also, if you’re on facebook please take the time to “like” us there too.

About Wufpacker

A 2nd generation alumnus and raised since birth to be irrationally dedicated to all things NC State. Class of '88 and '92.

ACC ACC Teams Baseball

26 Responses to Baseball Halfway Point – Virginia Tech Weekend Preview

  1. GAWolf 04/05/2013 at 6:55 AM #

    There’s little doubt now that Trea Turner is the backbone of this team. That’s hugely impressive for a Sophomore. The way he’s bounced back from injury is also impressive. He’s our leader, and with him solidly back in the lineup this team can right the wrongs of the games he sat out. We’ll need just as many “good surprises” in the second half of the schedule as we had “bad surprises” in the first to get back to where we need to be. Sadly, that’s going to be extra tough because clearly the back side of the schedule is substantially more difficult than the front.

    I do, however, think it’s possible. We need to give better run support to Rodon in the first game, or I think our staff must seriously consider moving him to a Saturday starter so we can at least guarantee one (hopefully) off the big boys down the stretch. That’s sort of sad because this is our year to be one of the big boys yet we’re left looking at the second half of the schedule trying to figure out where we can pick back up some of woeful early-season losses.

    I do think this team can get it done. They just have to get laser focused on their preseason goals again. With Turner back in the lineup it can happen.

  2. Pack Leader 04/05/2013 at 8:23 AM #

    Havnt seen him pitch, but from what I’ve heard Rodon hasnt looked as dominate as last year… Thoughts?

    Turner is NO DOUBT the teams leader. We go as far as Trey takes us.

  3. ryebread 04/05/2013 at 9:28 AM #

    Some things amaze me about baseball:
    – FSU’s excellence year in and year out. There really is a ton of talent in Florida.
    – Virgina’s push into the nation’s elite. They’ve historically been awful (at least in my memory).
    – Our baffling slow starts (yes, Turner had a lot to do with it this year, but it seems to be pitching too)
    – Miami falling off the cliff since joining the league. I remember when they were a college baseball factory.
    – The ACC’s pitiful performance at the CWS level.

  4. vtpackfan 04/05/2013 at 7:45 PM #

    Funny you mentioned “Miami” and “factory” together in regards to baseball. Overlooked by other scandals there are documents and testimony that some heavy PED was going on there-like in the factory line sense.

    After three and a half we only down 2-1 to VPI. We right on track to giving our obligatory few runs in support of Rodon.

  5. Wufpacker 04/05/2013 at 7:57 PM #

    You might as well give it up for tonight vt. You know we’ll never be able to overcome the black jerseys 😀

    Nice heads up base running by Turner to get himself around to score. Of course VT not being able to catch or throw the ball there for a few minutes did help some, but I think being skeered of Turner being on base created most of those yips.

    2-2 after 4 complete.

  6. Wufpacker 04/05/2013 at 8:03 PM #

    Rodon cruising now, making folks look silly.

  7. Wufpacker 04/05/2013 at 8:31 PM #

    Pack puts up 4 in the bottom 5th to take a 6-2 lead, but now Rodon laboring in the top 6th. 2 on nobody out for VT.

  8. vtpackfan 04/05/2013 at 9:31 PM #

    Rodon may have needed the “strikeouts are Facist” line from Crash Davis tonight. I think he ended with 10 Ks, but the BBs and HRs cut the night short.

    Tied at 7 in, I guess the eight. Sounds like an adventure in playing defense for both sides. Quite a few inning opening errors. Just need Sasser to hold on and push a run over in dramatic fashion.

    Got to be entertaining to watch in person.

  9. Wufpacker 04/05/2013 at 9:41 PM #

    8 combined errors…just sloppy. Not even gonna talk about pitching.

    Fincher keeps it going in the 8th, now Turner needs to earn his paycheck yet again and push one across as you said.

    EDIT – Or not. Tied going to the 9th.

  10. vtpackfan 04/05/2013 at 10:09 PM #

    Extra innings. Failed to score after Austin’s lead off single. Our 3-4-5 hitters went: K, Intentional Walk, 4-6-3 double play.

    I know Avent is all in on small ball. What I’d like to know is if Senay (slow as anyone) got a pinch runner AND if we tried a hit and run. In a game this sloppy that would have been a really smart move.

    I’m guessing he didn’t.

  11. Wufpacker 04/05/2013 at 10:17 PM #

    No hit and run, at least not a very good one if it was.

  12. vtpackfan 04/05/2013 at 10:31 PM #

    Two on two out. Usual suspect clean up hitter at the plate-too bad Rodon can’t PH.

  13. Wufpacker 04/05/2013 at 11:28 PM #

    It took a balk and wild pitch from VT, but the Pack finally pushes one across in the 14th.

    8-7 final.

    I need a drink.

  14. vtpackfan 04/06/2013 at 7:56 AM #

    On to today. Go win in a poor display by both teams. If these are # 22 and # 25 in the Nation teams than ignore the polls in this sport.

    Ogburn needed to be at his extra craftiness today. We could get Wilkens in 4 days rest, but it would be awesome to get a W today and have him fully rested for Sunday s finale.

  15. Wufpacker 04/06/2013 at 8:44 AM #

    Also a helluva performance by Overman going 4.2 innings last night. Maybe he’s got some set up man blood in that closer body.

    He’s done for the weekend I would think after that outing.

  16. statemech 04/06/2013 at 10:30 AM #

    Someone needs to ask Clyde how he summoned NCStateSh*t on VT in that last inning. CF mishandles Clyde’s would-be single to move him to 2nd, pitcher balks to send him to 3rd, and then a wild pitch/bad stop by the catcher sends Clyde home all in what felt like a matter of minutes.

  17. TheCOWDOG 04/06/2013 at 11:38 AM #

    Ah. Look at my boy the Jakester. Don’t like him in the 2 hole though.

    Get him back to the RBI slot at 5. It’s a slot for his wheels manufacture runs for the bottom of the order.

    Avent don’t listen, though.

  18. Dr. BadgerPack 04/06/2013 at 12:31 PM #

    COWDog- I think Avent would prefer Fincher lower in the order. BUT at this point, with Turner not only clearly the best hitter on the team but one of the best in the nation, setting the table for Turner and Austin has to be a priority… If either Armstrong or Morgan could resolve their issues, this wouldn’t be bad:


    But, I don’t like lineup instability so Armstrong (defense) or Morgan (offensive consistency) need to demonstrate they can be trotted out everyday.

  19. Dr. BadgerPack 04/06/2013 at 12:34 PM #

    vtpackfan- Wilkens should be fine for today if needed. The 4 days rest deal is just what MLB does for starters (college does a week) who toss ~100 pitches. Wilkens threw 59 which is just a nice 4 inning relief stint for all intents and purposes.

  20. elvislives 04/06/2013 at 12:58 PM #

    Senay’s game ain’t pretty, but the boy came through clutch last season and that goes a long way with me. Had a nice 2 out RBI early in Friday’s game too if I’m not mistaken.

    I’d be happy if VT’s side-armer Labitan was done for the weekend. He kept the Pack off balance quite a bit last night.

    BTW, Saturday’s game is being broadcast on ESPN3 for those outside of the blackout range.

  21. elvislives 04/06/2013 at 1:06 PM #

    Just to keep you boys guessing about the ideal lineup, Turner back in the leadoff spot today, Brett Williams gets the day off and Fincher bats 2nd and starts in his place in CF.

  22. Pack78 04/06/2013 at 4:35 PM #

    Pack whacks the Hokies 13-4…scored the last 11 after being down 4-2. Go for the sweep tomorrow.

  23. Wufpacker 04/06/2013 at 4:35 PM #

    Pretty nice pitch by Sasser to get out of the 8th unscathed. Frye looked strong in the 9th.

    Nice to see Ratledge looking a bit more comfortable at the plate finally (and everybody else too really).

    13-4 final. Go for the sweep tomorrow.

  24. elvislives 04/06/2013 at 4:41 PM #

    Good to see Silent T eat up a few innings, even if his case of the yips did come back to nearly bite him once again. Need to get that kid confident again, his arm could be very useful.

    The 7-run 2-out rally was fun to watch, great game for the Pack today. Let’s get the brooms ready for tomorrow!

    Turner getting picked off of 1st in the 8th was as obvious a no-call balk as I’ve seen in a long time.

  25. Wufpacker 04/06/2013 at 11:05 PM #

    Miami beat FSU tonight and Clemson beat BC again (yeah I know, big surprise there).

    So Clemson just a game back of FSU now, the Pack 2 back.

Leave a Reply