Hokies emerge as ACC baseball title contenders

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Courtesy of Virginia Tech athletics

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Three straight ACC series victories. First place in the Coastal division. And a Top 20 national ranking.

Virginia Tech baseball is experiencing one of its best seasons in years.

“We got a lot of different contributions from a lot of different people,” head coach John Szefc said. “Hitters, pitchers, defenders alike.”

On any given day on the baseball diamond, a different Hokie is stepping up in a big way for Szefc.

“In general, I think your guys have been able to perform at a pretty high level lately in games that are really important,” Szefc said.

After the spring season was shutdown due to the pandemic, the Hokies have brought a roar back to Blacksburg that hasn’t been heard since covid emerged. Already, the Hokies have nine conference wins on the road, the most since joining the ACC in 2004.

For Szefc, who is in his fourth season as Virginia Tech’s head coach, this might be the most fun group of Hokies he’s had.

“In Virginia Tech it is for sure. It helps when you win games. When you have success, players have fun, coaches have fun,” Szefc said. “What is that a byproduct of? Talented players and I think a coaching staff that does a very good job preparing these guys for what they’re gonna face.”

The Hokies roster got a boost from the extra year of eligibility granted to athletes by the NCAA because of covid. Tech has been injected by the talent of players whose careers would’ve already been over.

“We benefitted a lot. Three of our better arms. (Tanner) Thomas one of our regular position players. It’s helped us,” Szefc said. “It’s helped a lot of teams I think but it’s certainly helped us.”

Now Szefc hopes the Hokies can keep their foot on the gas as the postseason approaches.

“You keep it rolling by trying to keep your guys healthy and continuing to have a lot of structure in their preparation, their practices and their pregame,” Szefc said. “You just don’t get away from what you’ve been doing.”

What Tech has already done is putting the rest of college baseball on notice.

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