The Hokies took three out of four on the road at Nevada this weekend. At 7-1, the baseball team is off to its best start since 2013.
What a weekend it was in Nevada for the Virginia Tech Hokies Baseball Team. The Hokies improved to 7-1 on the season, their best start since the 2013 season (when they hosted an NCAA Tournament Regional at English Field), after taking three out of four from the Nevada Wolfpack out in Reno.
The Friday Doubleheader
The series began with a day-night doubleheader on Friday, which ended up being split. The Hokies took Game One by a final score of 8-7, but led by as many as six following a four-run fifth inning, and a two-run home run by Mac Caples in the eighth inning.
The ninth inning was a bit shaky for Tech, as Nevada pushed four runs across to make it interesting. However, the Hokies held on for the victory, and in the process captured their first 5-0 start since 1993.
The Hokies were not quite as fortunate in Game Two of the doubleheader. Nevada jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning on Virginia Tech pitcher Joey Sullivan, who allowed six runs on eight hits in five and a third innings of work.
For every Hokies offensive rally, there was a Nevada answer right back, as the Wolfpack beat Tech 7-4 to drop the Hokies’ record to 5-1 on the season.
Saturday’s tilt between the Hokies and Wolfpack can be best characterized as a back-and-forth affair, but when it mattered, the man of the hour was redshirt-sophomore Jack Owens. Owens, a transfer from East Carolina, notched a career-high four hits, which included a two-run home run in the ninth inning to push the Hokies over the top in an 8-5 victory over Nevada. Owens finished with three RBIs in the game.
In addition to Owens, there were four other Hokies who notched multi-hit games. Most notably of this group was redshirt-junior Sam Fragale, who hit his fourth home run of the season in the fourth inning in a three-for-five effort on the day.
The victory moved the Hokies to 6-1 on the season, while dropping Nevada to 2-4.
Sunday’s series finale was an offensive explosion, with a final score that resembled that of a football game, rather than a baseball game. The Hokies took the final game of the series by a score of 24-10, which was highlighted by a career day by center fielder Rahiem Cooper. Cooper went three-for-six with three home runs and nine RBIs.
Two of the home runs hit by Cooper were grand slams, with the second of which being smacked over the fence in the fifth inning to put the Hokies ahead 19-1.
The Hokies would eventually put up 24 runs on 20 hits in the 24-10 win, and will return home with a 7-1 record and their best start in four years.
The Hokies take on the Radford Highlanders at home on Tuesday afternoon at English Field. First pitch is at 3 PM ET.