Coach Pat Mason started the year on the hot seat, but now instead his team is hot, and one of the ACC’s seven representatives in the new Top 25 Poll.
The National Collegiate Baseball Division I Poll was released on Monday afternoon, and the 7-1 Virginia Tech Hokies have entered the rankings.
After a 7-1 start to the 2017 season, which has included six games in which the offense has scored eight runs or more, the Hokies jumped from unranked to number 19 in the nation entering Tuesday’s home tilt with local foe, Radford.
With Radford coming to Blacksburg on Tuesday afternoon, followed by a three-game weekend series at home against Binghamton, the home-favored Hokies have an excellent chance to pick up another three or four wins this week.
While it is no secret that head coach Pat Mason entered the college baseball season as one of the many coaches across the country on the hot seat, his team’s play over the first week and a half of the new campaign is certainly encouraging. The Hokies’ offense and defense have clearly improved, and the pitching has been solid overall as well.
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Entering Tuesday’s game against Radford, the Hokies are hitting a robust .346 as a team thus far, and they hold a team slugging percentage of .634 through the first eight games. The Hokies also hold a .965 fielding percentage as a team, and the pitching staff holds a team ERA of 4.18. By comparison, last season’s team had an ERA well over 6.00, which shows clear improvement thus far.
Four teams from the ACC are ahead of the Hokies in the latest poll, including Louisville at number six, North Carolina at number seven, Virginia at number eight, and Florida State at number 10. Just below the Hokies in the latest poll are the Miami Hurricanes at 21 and the Clemson Tigers at 22.
It was clear that the ACC was going to be one of the toughest conferences in college baseball, and if the second poll of the season with seven conference teams is any indication, it will be a very exciting race to the conference crown in the rest of 2017.