Virginia Tech baseball is off to a fiery start to the 2019 season, winning its first four games over the past week. The Hokies won the Stetson Rycass Classic before winning their home opener against East Tennessee State.
Tech’s offense has been the focal point so far, as the Hokies have outscored their opponents 32-8. Freshman catcher Carson Taylor is leading the hot-hitting team with a .563 batting average and five RBIs.
The Hokies opened up the season with a 5-0 win over Stetson. It was the first time since the 1997 season that Tech won a shutout in its season-opener. Taylor went 2-for-4 with one run and another batted in while sophomore Ian Seymour dominated on the mound. The sophomore lefty tossed five innings, giving up just two hits and no runs while striking out seven batters.
Following the Opening Day win, Tech faced Manhattan in day two of the tournament. The Jaspers weren’t able to limit the Hokies’ bats, as Tech exploded for 15 runs in a 15-3 victory. Taylor again led the team with five hits on the day, scoring four times and driving in three runs. He tied a school record with four doubles in the game, a feat that had only been achieved twice before. Senior Luke Horanski wasn’t far behind, going 3-for-5 with two runs and five more driven in.
The third game of the weekend was the most closely-contested for the Hokies. Virginia Tech ended the weekend with a 3-2 win over Sam Houston State, but the Hokies did not trail the entire game.
Tech jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first and didn’t look back. Junior outfielder went 1-for-4 on the day with one run and two RBIs. Peyton Alford picked up the win, pitching four innings and giving up just one run on two hits.
With a 3-0 record under their belt, the Hokies returned to Blacksburg for the home-opener on Tuesday. They had to move the start time up due to impending weather, but that didn’t affect the team at all.
Tech opened up the game with a seven-run bottom of the first inning. They limited the Buccaneers to just three runs and cruised to a 9-3 victory. Senior Nick Owens went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI as he led the Hokies to their fourth win of the season.
Starting pitcher Nic Enright went two innings, allowing just one hit on three runs and striking out three batters. Nathan Starliper got credited with the win, pitching 3.1 innings and giving up just one hit.
The 4-0 start to the season improves upon last year, when the Hokies went 1-3 in their first four games. Tech has a shot to go for wins four, five and six when they play a weekend series against UNC Greensboro this week.
The three-game series was slated to be in Greensboro, but has been moved to Blacksburg
due to weather. The team will release more information on that series later this week.
Photo Credit: Harley Taylor