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Baseball Report Week 10: Hokies Fall from the Rankings

By Kyle Beene | April 24
via @HokiesBaseball on X

Another series with a top-tier opponent over the weekend saw the Hokies come up a bit short again, claiming just one victory against the No. 7 Duke Blue Devils before demolishing George Mason on Tuesday. Virginia Tech, having peaked in the rankings at No. 11, has fallen out of the top-25 in the last three weeks, losing consecutive ACC series to No. 8 Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, and Duke.

Leaving runners on has been the Hokies kryptonite, a pattern that carried over into Week 10. At least 10 were stranded on the bases in all four games, leaving much to be desired on the offensive side.

Series Loss vs Duke (1-2)

Game 1

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Game 1 against Duke was an absolute nailbiter, extending into 11 innings. Chris Cannizzaro's double to LCF set the tone for the ranked battle, driving in Ben Watson and Carson DeMartini, who reached the basepaths on a dropped third strike and hit by pitch respectively. Duke answered with a run in the 2nd, four in the 3rd, and one in the 5th, taking a 6-2 lead with seven hits. 

After giving up the two runs early, Duke's starter Jonathan Santucci ran out of gas in the 5th, leaving the bases loaded for Owen Proksch, who didn't fare much better. Clay Grady walked for an RBI, Gehrig Ebel scored on a fielder's choice, and Watson singled for a pair, tying the game at 6. The fun continued into the following inning, where Henry Cooke slammed one to right on a 2-0 count, Tech now leading 8-6. 

Tech got several more runners on down the stretch, but couldn't get them around. Meanwhile, Duke chipped away at the lead, eventually tying at 8 with two solo shots in the 8th and 9th from Logan Bravo and Ben Miller. 

VT and Duke went three up, three down in the 10th. Miller came in clutch again for the Blue Devils, his RBI single providing the game-winning run. In Tech's redemption chance in B11, they failed to score with runners on 1st and 2nd, a pattern that showed all game. A whopping 18 runners were left on for the Hokies, while Duke only left nine.

Game 2

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Believe it or not, the Hokies played ANOTHER 11-inning game with the Blue Devils over the weekend, this one ending in favor of the home squad. The low-scoring affair had just three total runs, the final coming from an E3 to end the game.

Miller hit a double into RCF to score Duke's only run, while Cooke had a sac-fly and Christian Martin ended the game with a grounder to shortstop, which was dropped by Bravo at first as the winning run came in.

Reliever Grant Manning captured his second win of the year from the rubber, while Brett Renfrow excelled on the mound, finishing with four hits allowed, four strikeouts, one run, and one walk.

Game 3

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Similar to Game 1, the Hokies grabbed a lead and let it trickle away. Giving up a pair to Gracia on a homer in the first, the Hokies blasted past Duke with a five-run 3rd, a trio of singles and an error getting the job done. Now leading 5-3 Virginia Tech got back to business in the 5th with a Micheletti solo shot to the left pole and DeMartini's hustle on a wild pitch. 

The Hokies were able to add three more to the board, but Duke dropped a dime in the final four innings. Three homers from Bravo, Wallace Clark, and Devin Obee got the Blue Devils up 13-10 before the Hokies last chance in B9. Beilenson finished Tech off in 12 pitches, striking out two batters to close out the weekend in favor of the visitors. 

Once again, the Hokies left 10 on, ceding the lead in the late innings; a game that easily could've gone the other way. 

Midweek Win vs George Mason

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Facing off with the Patriots, the Hokies rattled off run after run for the 24-5 win. 14 different batters registered hits for a whopping 26 in total, dominating Mason from the first out to the last. Tech put nine on the board to start the game, replying to Ben Jones' two RBI homer over Cannizzaro's head. 

The Hokies' power was on full display, amassing six doubles, one triple, and five homers. We had to have TWO Blacksburg Bombers for this one, Carson DeMartini and Ben Watson. DeMartini's two homers tied Andrew Rash's 42 for the most career homers in program history since joining the ACC in 2004. Ben Watson's incredible 5-5, 2-2B, 3R, 1RBI couldn't be left out too, an absolutely nuts game from the outfielder.

The Week Ahead

After three consecutive series losses, the Hokies find themselves in a crowded middle of the pack in the ACC standings. Next up? A road series at ACC Coastal leaders, North Carolina. The Tar Heels have been very consistent this season, but in terms of top tier talent, they don’t match up with Wake Forest or Duke. That’s the good news. The bad news is the Hokies are yet to have a marquee series win this season, and they’re slowly falling in NCAA Regional seeding projections. If the Hokies want to be a top 2 seed in a Regional, then this weekend is as close to a “can’t lose” as you get. 

If the Hokies can go into Chapel Hill and win the series, everything gets back on track. Not many teams will have a better series win on the road than that. But if the pitching performance is like it’s been the last few weekends, then the Hokies may start to sweat a bit. 

Me Ronnie

Born into a family of Hokies, I can remember watching Frank Beamer and Tyrod Taylor on Saturdays with the family, so attending VT was always the dream. 


In 2020, I began my time at Virginia Tech in the Sports Media Analytics program and eventually joined the Sons in January of 2023 as the softball beat writer. Now, I’ve got football, basketball, and baseball coverage, plus you’ll see some of my photographs in articles throughout the website. 


Graduation is on the horizon, but I can’t wait to come back in the fall to begin my Master’s and continue working with the team!


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