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Baseball Report Week 4: Hokies Continue to Hammer

By Sam Jessee | March 14
BB W4 Cover
via HokieSports

For the first time in program history, the Hokies are 3-0 in the ACC.

A sweep over Notre Dame in Blacksburg was the product of stellar offense, solid defense, and strong pitching. The Hokies continued to stay hot with a 20-2 throttling of Marist, the former home of head coach John Szefc. The 4-0 stretch came after the Hokies grabbed a 2-1 series victory over the Stony Brook Seawolves. The midweek contest against Binghamton was cancelled due to weather and will not be made up.

Series Win vs Notre Dame (3-0)

Game 1


At last season's annual "Baseball Night in Blacksburg", a season kickoff event for the program, guest speaker Cal Ripken, Jr. talked to the team about the importance of starting fast in games. Aggression early, he said, was the key to winning late.

The Hokies have taken that to heart, and that offensive philosophy has served them well. They scored 3 in the first inning in Friday's weekend opener and never looked back. 3B CarsonDeMartini, LF Chris Cannizzaro, and RF Eddie Micheletti, Jr. all got base hits in the inning to put the pressure on the Irish. Consecutive hits have been the key to the explosive nature of the Hokies' offense this season. When the Hokies score, they score a lot.

Micheletti has picked up any loss in power production from the injury to 1B Garret Michel. His 6th inning grand slam put the game virtually out of reach. It wouldn't be his last big swing of the weekend.

On the mound, Brett Renfrow is putting together a Freshman All-American season. He pitched 8.0 innings almost flawlessly, allowing just 3 hits and walking only 1 batter. On the season, Renfrow has allowed just 5 earned runs in 4 starts, with a staggering low 0.792 WHIP.

Game 2


The first inning magic continued, as the Hokies executed a double steal to perfection on their way to a 2 run inning. In more classic Hammerin' Hokies style, freshman DH David McCann hit 2 homers and DeMartini and C Gehrig Ebel both added one of their own. Home runs were the highlights, but 4 stolen bases were what blew the game open for the Hokies. Aggression on the base paths and small ball may be what takes this offense from very good to unstoppable this season.

Rutgers transfer Wyatt Parliament struck out 10 in 5.1 innings of work. Similar to Renfrow, Parliament has done a phenominal job of throwing strikes, only walking one batter in Saturday's game. The bullpen wasn't perfect, but with this offense they don't need to be. What looked like a potential weak point in the preseason has developed into a solid bunch. It's a work in progress, but the bullpen looks good enough to close out some games for the Hokies.

The win marked the fourth series win out of four. Notre Dame is not expected to finish very high in the final ACC standings, but the Irish came into the series with an 11-2 record and averaging over 9 runs a game. And if you asked coach Szefc, he'd simply say that any ACC series win is a great series win.

Game 3


This might come as a shocker...but Carson DeMartini had a 2 run homer in the first inning. The Hokies never surrendered the lead.

But it wasn't an easy win in the end by any means. The Hokies got up 10-3 at the end of the 7th inning after a SS Clay Grady triple scored McCann. But the normally high-powered Notre Dame offense woke up late, and a David Glancy homer in the 8th gave them life.

The 9th inning was an adventure for the Hokies bullpen, but one that maybe needed to happen. Carson Ohl came in to close things out, but the Irish were seeing his offspeed pitches well and knocked 3 hits included a solo homer. In came Frostburg State transfer Jacob Stretch, but a fielding error followed by an RBI single made things a little too close for comfort.

Then ECU transfer Jordan Little got the nod, and he shut the game down with velocity and location that is just a step above everyone else in the bullpen. After a fly ball caught the wind and went to the wall for a double, Little settled in and threw back to back strikeouts followed by a soft grounder to end the game.

The Hokies haven't had a defined Closer since Sean Connelly in 2021, and he wasn't exclusively in that role. But Little might be the guy in that spot going forward. It will be interesting to see how much he's used in middle inning relief going forward. For now, he's the best bet to close things down in the 9th.

Midweek Win vs Marist

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The Hokies set a program record with 8 (EIGHT?!) home runs, included 2 from freshman 3B Jake Slade in his first two at bats of the season.

The Hokies tallied 19 hits on their way to 20 runs against a Marist Red Foxes team that was coming off a series win against Richmond. But with midweek pitchers, Marist was helpless against a Tech offense that now ranks 4th in the Massey Ratings (KenPom for college baseball). DeMartini was another Hokie who grabbed two homers. The preseason 3rd team All-American is now up to a .321 batting average with 12 extra base hits.

It was another midweek bullpen game for the Hokies, which is to be expected throughout the season. Jordan Vera started things off and didn't allow a hit or a run in 2 innings of work. Madden Clement, a true freshman with a lot of potential, came in and threw 2.2 innings with similar stuff. More youngsters were able to get a taste of action, as Preston Crowl, Ryan Buckler, and JT Gibson all threw innings of worked and allowed just 2 earned runs.


The Week Ahead

The Hokies will travel to Louisville for a weekend series vs the Cardinals. The usual powerhouse is in a rebuilding year. But don't let a 12-5 record fool you, the Cardinals have faced a sneakily tough out of conference schedule. Still, Louisville is not expected to be a top half ACC team. A road series win would be huge for the tournament résumé, but the Hokies should feel good about their chances. Of note, Louisville also plays on a turf field, that will help the Hokies defense feel a bit more at home than usual.

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I'm a born and raised Hokie. My first game in Lane Stadium was in September of 1997 when Tech stomped Big East rival Syracuse 31-3. 

I was born and raised in Richmond, VA, where I developed a passion for local cooking, scenic nature, and everything Orange and Maroon. I graduated from Tech with a degree in Finance in 2019 and received my Master's in Data Analytics in 2021. I'm a certified analytics nerd with a passion for data visualization and modeling, which fuels much of my work.

I joined the Sons team in 2020, and now act as the Website Content Manager overseeing all online content and mentoring our talented tea of writers. I also co-host the Two Deep podcast with Pete B.

I currently work in Virginia Beach, VA, as a data and financial analyst for LifeNet Health, a biotech and organ transplant non-profit.

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