Virginia Tech opened the baseball season strong in their first series of the year this weekend.
It was a strong start to the 2017 baseball season for the Virginia Tech Hokies.
In what is absolutely a make-or-break year for fourth-year coach Pat Mason, the Hokies needed a fast start to the year in order to show improvement in another tough ACC this season.
The team responded well on opening weekend, walloping USC Upstate 28-13 en route to a three-game sweep over the Spartans.
On Opening Day, the Hokies were carried by a career game from first baseman Sam Fragale. The redshirt-junior went 5-for-5 on Friday afternoon, with three home runs and seven runs batted in, as the Hokies started out their season 1-0 with an 11-3 victory.
Saturday afternoon presented another high scoring affair, with the Hokies breaking an 8-8 tie in the eighth inning on a Tom Stoffel bunt single that scored Jack Owens from third base. Owens led off the eighth with a triple to put himself in position to score the go-ahead run.
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The 9-8 victory moved the Hokies to 2-0 on the campaign, as their offense shined through a rough outing by Joey Sullivan, who gave up eight runs on nine hits in three innings of work.
Looking for the sweep on Sunday, the Hokies were given a strong outing on the mound from redshirt-junior Andrew McDonald, who gave up two runs over seven innings of work, striking out nine batters in the 8-2 victory for the Hokies.
After ripping through a slew of relievers in the 9-8 slugfest on Saturday night, the deep outing by McDonald could not have come at a better time. Tim Stoffel and Nick Anderson combined for four hits and four runs batted in, as the Hokies moved to 3-0 on the season.
Monday will be an off day for the Hokies before their home opener on Tuesday afternoon against Marshall. It will be the first game between the two schools since the 2006 campaign.
Marshall enters play 1-2 on the season, as they picked up their first victory of the season on Sunday against Kennesaw State.
First pitch from English Field on Tuesday is slated for 3 PM.