Check back often for all of the latest on the Hokies!

June 16, 2017 - 11:36 am
Reactions from media outlets following Thursday's press conference introducing Coach Szefc

On Thursday, June 15, the Virginia Tech athletics department formally introduced new head baseball coach John Szefc with a press conference in the President's Suite in Lane Stadium - see the official release here. A number of local and state media attended the event - see below for links to their stories written on the announcement.

Going nine innings with new Tech baseball coach John Szefc​
By Jimmy Robertson, Inside Hokie Sports

New coach John Szefc lured by VT’s commitment to baseball
By David Teel, Daily Press

Hokies hope their new Szefc will cook up an ACC baseball contender
Staff reports, Bluefield Daily Telegraph Online

Virginia Tech Baseball Coach John Szefc Contract Details
By Will Stewart, Tech Sideline

June 10, 2017 - 10:31 am
Check out media articles related to the hiring of Coach Szefc

Below are several links to media articles in response to Virginia Tech's announcement Friday that John Szefc (pronounced CHEF) has agreed to serve as head coach of the baseball program.

Quick Blog Post: Virginia Tech hires Maryland coach John Szefc
Roanoke Times

Virginia Tech hires 'proven winner' to rebuild baseball program
Roanoke Times

McFarling Blog: Virginia Tech's baseball hire
Roanoke Times

Virginia Tech hires John Szefc as baseball coach
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Virginia Tech hires Maryland's John Szefc as baseball coach
Daily Press

Virginia Tech Baseball Hires John Szefc as New Head Coach


Maryland baseball coach John Szefc is leaving for Virginia Tech
Washington Post

Maryland baseball coach John Szefc leaving for Virginia Tech
Baltimore Sun

Virginia Tech Hires John Szefc Away From Maryland
Baseball America

June 2, 2017 - 2:55 pm
AD Babcock reflects on baseball committee experience

Virginia Tech's Athletic Director Whit Babcock recently spoke with David Teel, of the Newport News Daily Press, about his first year on the NCAA baseball tournament selection committee, which appeared on the organization's site Tuesday. Below are the first few graphs of the story, CLICK HERE to read the story in its entirety.


Whit Babcock understands why Virginia baseball coaches, players and fans are aggravated. But he promises them he did not derail the Cavaliers' chances of hosting a NCAA tournament regional this weekend. Virginia’s exclusion from the 16 regional hosts drew rampant criticism, and with good reason.

Babcock, Virginia Tech’s athletic director and a rookie member of the tournament selection committee, became a convenient target of Cavaliers faithful searching for a culprit. But that’s not how NCAA tournament deliberations work.

First, if any committee member attempted to sabotage a rival school, NCAA staff and other panelists would see right through it and exile the offender. Second, in the case of baseball, a team needs at least seven of 10 votes to move into the field of 64 or be included among the top 16.

Specific to Babcock: Sure, Tech and Virginia are rivals, but as “a baseball guy,” he admires Brian O’Connor’s program. Growing up in Harrisonburg, the son of James Madison’s coach, Babcock recalls when the Cavaliers were nationally irrelevant and appreciates the scope of O’Connor’s accomplishments – 14 NCAA tournaments in as many seasons, four College World Series appearances and the 2015 national championship. U.Va. baseball team will open NCAA tourney in Fort Worth; Old Dominion left out

That said, tabbing Clemson to host instead of Virginia was an error. CLICK HERE to view the rest of the story.

May 30, 2017 - 2:53 pm
First look at where 19 Hokies are playing this summer

In the next few weeks, the NCAA baseball postseason will be whittled down to eight teams vying for the title at the College World Series in Omaha, while across the country, rest of the nation’s collegiate players will be already competing for their summer ball teams.

After most of the leagues have started, the normal – “Follow the Hokies in the Summer Leagues” – release will be available on the main baseball page, and it will, again, include links to players’ bios, stats pages, league pages, etc. However, since two leagues open tonight, below is a first-look at where 19 of the Hokies will be spending their summer vacations (leagues are listed by start date).

Coastal Plains League (opening day: May 30) – Andrew McDonald (Edenton Steamers); Paul Hall, Jr., Grant Maiorana, Jack Owens (Peninsula Pilots), Tim Salvadore (Wilmington Sharks).
Northwoods League (opening day: May 30) – JD Mundy, Tom Stoffel (Battle Creek Bombers), Nick Owens (Wisconsin Rapids Rafters), Stevie Mangrum, Jake Rosen (Wisconsin Woodchucks).
Perfect Game League (opening day: June 1) – Marcus White (Oneonta Outlaws).
Valley League (opening day: June 2) – Keagan McGinnis (Front Royal Cardinals), Dylan Hall (Strasburg Express).
Alaska League (opening day: June 5) – Sam Fragale (Anchorage Glacier Pilots).
Ripken League (opening day: June 5) – Nic Enright, Culver Hughes (Baltimore Redbirds), Andrew Webb (D.C. Greys), Graham Seitz (Loudoun River Dogs).
Tidewater League (opening day: June 5) – Payton Holdsworth (Outer Banks Daredevils).

May 13, 2017 - 12:04 pm
Tech honors departing trainers and managers pregame on Saturday

Before its doubleheader against North Carolina on Saturday, May 13, the Virginia Tech baseball team recognized four members of the support staff that are working their final home weekend with the Hokies.

Ashley Gail Humphries has been a student trainer for the last two years. The Amherst, Virginia, native graduated with a Human, Nutrition, Food and Exercise degree and, this fall, will begin her pursuit of a doctorate degree at Radford.

Ryan Brown has been a student trainer for two seasons as well. The Frederick, Maryland, native graduated with a Human, Nutrition, Food and Exercise degree and, this fall, will begin his pursuit of a masters degree in athletic training at George Mason.

The two baseball managers honored before the game were Tyler Bower and Zach Jones, who each finished their first years with the team. Bower, from Roanoke, graduated with a consumer studies degree and Jones, who is from Waynesboro, graduated with a finance degree.

May 10, 2017 - 11:36 am
Meet the newest #Hokieball member - Ryan Okuda

Over the next dozen-plus weeks, the #HokieHuddle will be the place to visit to get a sneak peak at the newest members of the Virginia Tech baseball team in our #WelcomeWednesday feature. These players will join the team starting in the 2017-18 academic season. Scroll down to see the other Hokies already featured.

Name: Ryan Okuda
Position: Left-hand pitcher
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 185 pounds
Hometown: Gibsonia, Pennsylvania
High School: Pine-Richland
Other Schools considered: Cornell, Penn State, Seton Hill

Career numbers (high school): Threw a total of 60 innings with an 8-1 record … Allowed just 29 hits, 11 total runs, six earned runs with 63 strikeouts opposite 23 walks … In 2015 had an ERA of 1.00 and a .915 WHIP, while 2016’s final ERA was 0.29 with a .917 WHIP.

Why did you choose Tech? I chose Tech because I could tell as soon as I stepped on the campus that I wanted to be there and be a Hokie. From the sense of community in Blacksburg and the great coaching staff on the baseball team, Tech seems like a perfect fit for me. It is a great combination between the academics that I want to pursue and an opportunity to play high-level baseball.

What was your favorite thing about your visit? My favorite part of my visit was getting to see English Field and sitting down to talk with Coach Mason. I enjoyed having the opportunity to talk to Coach Mason in person and to get a chance to know him.

What do you like about the Tech baseball program? I like the bond that the players share and the sense of community surrounding the baseball team. Not only are they a close-knit group of people, but also, they have a close relationship with the community around Blacksburg.

What are your baseball strengths? My strengths as a player include the movement that all of my pitches have, my unique arm slot, and my high baseball IQ.

Who is your favorite pro baseball player (why)? My favorite professional baseball player is Mike Trout (center fielder for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim). He is a hard worker and he respects the game.

What is your most memorable baseball moment (why)? In the Summer of 2015, I threw a one-hit, 18 strikeout game where I was responsible for 20 of the 21 outs. It was the most strikeouts that I have had in a game, and I also had a special determination to strike all of the players out on the other team because I felt like they were disrespecting the game by being poor sports.

What do you think you will major in? I’m hoping to major in some kind of engineering.

What's one thing you'd want Tech fans to know about you? I try my hardest in everything that I do, especially baseball..

May 3, 2017 - 11:56 am
Meet the newest #HokieBall member - Jojo Odachowski

Over the next dozen-plus weeks, the #HokieHuddle will be the place to visit to get a sneak peak at the newest members of the Virginia Tech baseball team in our #WelcomeWednesday feature. These players will join the team starting in the 2017-18 academic season. Scroll down to see the other Hokies already featured.

Name: Jojo Odachowski
Position: Infielder
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 185 pounds
Hometown: Alpharetta, Georgia
High School: Mount Pisgah Christian School
Other Schools considered: none

Career numbers (high school): Through junior season has an overall batting average of .348 with three home runs mostly batting leadoff.

Why did you choose Tech? I chose Virginia Tech because of its combination of academic and athletic opportunities.

What was your favorite thing about your visit? My favorite part about my visit was getting to be on the sideline before the football game.

What do you like about the Tech baseball program? I like Virginia Tech’s coaching staff and their relationships with each of their players.

What are your baseball strengths? My greatest strengths in baseball are the intangibles of the game such as hustle and coachability.

Who is your favorite pro baseball player (why)? My favorite pro baseball player is Adam Wainwright (St. Louis pitcher). He is one of the hardest working players in the game. He works hard both on the field with his teammates and off the field with his family.

What is your most memorable baseball moment (why)? My most memorable baseball moment was during the WWBA. I was playing on the East Cobb Astros and we were playing the Evoshield Canes. There were two outs with a man on second and I was up. I ended up getting into a 1-2 count and eventually fouled off 12 pitches before knocking a base hit through the left side to walk it off.

What do you think you will major in? Business .

What's one thing you'd want Tech fans to know about you? One thing I would want Tech fans to know about me is that I’ve never lived anywhere where it snows a lot. I grew up on the beach my whole life before moving to Atlanta so snow is going to be a new thing for me.

May 1, 2017 - 3:42 pm
Stoffel overcomes injury to post big numbers

TechSideline's Cory Van Dyke recently sat down with redshirt-junior Tom Stoffel to talk about the Dayton, Ohio native's impressive 2017 season and the reason why he had to sit out in 2015, which appeared on the site Friday. Below are the first few graphs of the story, CLICK HERE to read the story in its entirety.


Injuries can be one of the toughest things to handle for an athlete. However, overcoming a serious injury and exceeding the level that you were once at can be all the more sweeter. In his redshirt-junior season, Tom Stoffel has fully recovered from a back injury and been the centerpiece of a powerful Virginia Tech offense.

Stoffel came to Blacksburg and played an integral role in his freshman season, starting 24 games in right field and batting .290. Then came the most difficult circumstance in Stoffel’s baseball career. Leading up to his sophomore season, Stoffel experienced a pain in his back that wouldn’t go away.

“It was like two weeks before sophomore season, we didn’t really pinpoint it to anything, but I was just hitting and felt a little something in my back,” said Stoffel. “Didn’t know what it really was at first. I thought it was just a muscular thing, and I just kept trying to play through it. I was able to pitch with it, but I couldn’t hit. It hurt too bad hitting. I got the MRI and stuff like that. Came back and it was a stress fracture in my back, L5 I believe.”

A back injury for any athlete leads to a lot of unanswered questions and an uncertain recovery time. For Stoffel, that was exactly the case.


April 26, 2017 - 11:54 am
Meet the newest #HokieBall member - Gavin Hinchliffe

Over the next dozen-plus weeks, the #HokieHuddle will be the place to visit to get a sneak peak at the newest members of the Virginia Tech baseball team in our #WelcomeWednesday feature. These players will join the team starting in the 2017-18 academic season. Scroll down to see the other Hokies already featured.

Name: Gavin Hinchliffe
Position: Right-hand pitcher
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 195 pounds
Hometown: Pottsville, Pa.
High School: Pottsville Area
Other Schools considered: Northwestern, Duke, VCU, Penn State, Columbia

Career numbers (high school): Earned Republican-Herald All-Area honorable mention honors as a junior after hitting .350 with 14 runs scored and 22 RBI, which was third in the area … Overall on the mound, was 5-3, but went 2-1 as a junior in 22.2 innings with 29 strikeouts … Named a Perfect Game second team Underclass All-American and was a PG National Showcase participant.

Why did you choose Tech? Virginia Tech was an easy choice for me. The academic opportunities, baseball family, and location was far better at Tech than any other school I was interested in.

What was your favorite thing about your visit? My favorite thing about my visit was the overall atmosphere of the campus and football game. This atmosphere was unlike any other campus I visited.

What do you like about the Tech baseball program? The thing most appealing to me when dealing with Tech’s baseball program was the amount of opportunities given by the coaches and teammates. I saw myself being most successful in my career when being paired with this staff.

What are your baseball strengths? My greatest baseball strengths are my athleticism and raw talent. This makes me eager to learn and get better.

Who is your favorite pro baseball player (why)? My favorite pro baseball player is Toronto pitcher Marcus Stroman. I enjoy watching him play because he is a very positive role model and is an under 6-foot pitcher like I am. He gives me motivation and showed me that my height will not hold me back if I work hard.

What is your most memorable baseball moment (why)? My most memorable baseball moment was winning a District title for my high school. This was very memorable because it was the first time in many years our school has won this title and I got to share this experience while playing with my brother (Connor).

What do you think you will major in? I plan on majoring in a Natural Resources field.

What's one thing you'd want Tech fans to know about you? During my free time I enjoy to kayak and fish with my family.

April 20, 2017 - 10:10 am
Tech honors members of 1977 baseball team

Last week, members of the 1977 Virginia Tech baseball team held a reunion in Blacksburg and were honored during the Friday baseball game against the Virginia Cavaliers. The 1977 team started the season 1-6, then went on to win a school record 31 straight games to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.

The team was coached by Bob Humphreys, who won 135 games at Tech over five seasons (1974-78) and actually threw out the honorary first pitch before Friday's game. Humphreys played in the major leagues for nine seasons and won a world series with the 1964 St. Louis Cardinals.

Below are some of the images from the pregame festivities.

April 19, 2017 - 12:10 pm
Meet the newest #HokieBall member - Nick Owens

Over the next dozen-plus weeks, the #HokieHuddle will be the place to visit to get a sneak peak at the newest members of the Virginia Tech baseball team in our #WelcomeWednesday feature. These players will join the team starting in the 2017-18 academic season.

Name: Nick Owens
Position: Shortstop
Height: 6-foot
Weight: 175 pounds
Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
High School: Charlotte Christian
Comm. College: St. Johns River State College, Florida
Other Schools considered: USF, Alabama, Kentucky, Maryland

Career numbers (high school): Posted a .410 career batting average … Named an NCSAA (National Christian School Athletic Association) first team high school All-American … Was team captain as a junior and senior … Also earned first team all-state.

Career numbers (at St. John's River): In first year with team, batted .350 with 51 runs scored, 25 RBI and was named an All-Regional tournament team member after batting .531 … So far, this season, received the Tindall Scholarship Award and was once named a Florida State player of the week.

Why did you choose Tech? Coach (Ryan) Connolly set the tone before I arrived on campus. He showed genuine interest in getting to know me as a person. That theme was consistent as I met Coach (Patrick) Mason and Coach (Jamie) Pinzino. Their interest in a personal relationship was the key to my decision. Obviously, the academics and facilities were an added plus in making my decision.

What was your favorite thing about your visit? The genuine interest the coaches displayed to their recruits and me. The academic major of Business Information Technology and the commitment to the baseball program with the improving facilities.

What do you like about the Tech baseball program? The knowledge of the coaching staff in helping me become a better player. The ACC conference and level of competition. The desire to win.

What are your baseball strengths? My willingness to learn every day and lead others. I am a teammate first. I’m a patient hitter that will do what’s necessary for the team in the particular situation. I’m also an athletic shortstop that can make all plays. I am selfless.

Who is your favorite pro baseball player (why)? Derek Jeter (retired New York Yankee) is my favorite player because of his level demeanor, leadership, and his desire to win. He inspires others by the way he conducts himself both on the field and off.

What is your most memorable baseball moment (why)? Most recently was competing in the Florida JUCO State Championship against the best teams in the country. Also, winning three state championships in high school.

What do you think you will major in? Business Information Technology.

What's one thing you'd want Tech fans to know about you? I had to redshirt my freshman year at NC State because of an unknown virus I received my senior year in high school. I lost 30 pounds in 10 days, spent 30 days in the hospital vomiting every waking hour for 40 days. I spent the beginning of my senior year carrying a backpack that pumped calories into a central line in my chest. I missed my last WWBA tournament and the summer and fall before my senior year. I guess the thing to share about this is that anything can be taken away at any point. Love God, family and friends. Live for today. God has blessed me with providing me a chance to keep playing. Directing me to St. Johns River and getting me back into the ACC as a Hokie. Beyond that – I love God, my family, my dogs, and Bruce Springsteen.

April 17, 2017 - 2:19 pm
Several Hokies featured last week in publications

Last week (April 10-14), there were several #HokieBall players featured in different publications and below, in case you missed it, are the links to those stories.

WPIAL ALUM Q&A Connor Coward - Former Seneca Valley Baseball Player Now at Virginia Tech
By Sean Meyers, MSA Sports Network

Armed with a new delivery Armed with new delivery, Kit Scheetz starting again for Virginia Tech baseball
By Mike Barber, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Sam Fragale transforms into Virginia Tech slugger
By Mark Berman, Roanoke Times

Jack Owens leads the charge for Virginia Tech baseball
By Cory Van Dyke, Tech Sideline

April 12, 2017 - 11:30 am
Meet the newest #HokieBall member - Nic Motley

Over the next dozen-plus weeks, the #HokieHuddle will be the place to visit to get a sneak peak at the newest members of the Virginia Tech baseball team in our #WelcomeWednesday feature. These players will join the team starting in the 2017-18 academic season.

Name: Nic Motley
Position: Catcher
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 220 pounds
Hometown: Southlake, Texas
High School: Carroll
Comm. College: McLennan
Other Schools considered: Liberty

Career numbers (high school): Batted .438 with 46 RBI and 10 home runs during senior season at Carroll … Was a first team all-district and first team all-state, while also earning a second team All-American selection.

Career numbers (at McLennan): In first season, had 18 hits, including four doubles and three home runs, walked 15 times, scored 28 runs, added 20 RBI and stole six bases

What was your favorite thing about your visit? My favorite part of the visit was when Enter Sandman played when the Tech football team was entering the field at Lane Stadium. It was an awesome experience and look forward to many more like it.

Why did you choose Tech? I chose Tech mainly because of the coaching staff. They made me feel right at home from the first time I met with them. I also believe in what they teach and want to be a part of their program. I also love how the baseball team is getting serious financial support in adding on to the stadium and other projects benefiting the baseball team. The other main reason is because of the respect for the academics that Tech has earned. I look forward to getting a degree from a very well thought of school.

What do you like about the Tech baseball program? I like how the coaches run it. I like how things are very competition based. I also liked how easy it was to tell that the coaches really care about their guys.

What are your baseball strengths? I have good power at the plate and I am also a good defensive catcher and I feel I can handle a pitching staff very well.

Who is your favorite pro baseball player (why)? Paul Goldschmidt (first baseman, Arizona Diamondbacks) is my favorite player because he is not only one of the best players every year, but he goes about his business the right way.

What is your most memorable baseball moment (why)? My most memorable baseball experience was being at Game 2 of the ALCS in 2011 when Texas Ranger Nelson Cruz hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 10th inning to beat the Detroit Tigers.

What do you think you will major in? I will major in Business Management.

What's one thing you'd want Tech fans to know about you? I want people to know that I am hardworking and would do anything for my friends, family, and teammates.

April 5, 2017 - 11:41 am
Meet the newest #HokieBall member - Zach Kokoska

Over the next dozen-plus weeks, the #HokieHuddle will be the place to visit to get a sneak peak at the newest members of the Virginia Tech baseball team in our #WelcomeWednesday feature. These players will join the team starting in the 2017-18 academic season.

Name: Zach Kokoska
Position: LHP/OF
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 200 pounds
Hometown: Latrobe, Pennsylvania
High School: Greater Latrobe
Other Schools considered: Air Force, VCU, East Carolina, Virginia, Penn State, and Liberty

Career numbers (entering senior season): Had thrown 55 innings with 65 strikeouts … Career batting average was .413 and included nine doubles, 11 triples and two home runs … Hit .456 during junior season and, as a sophomore, set a school record with seven triples … Was a two-time first team all-section AAAA as an outfielder.

What was your favorite thing about your visit? The tour of the facility sealed the deal for me which was reaffirmed even more on my official visit taking in a football game. The athletic resources available to student athletes are top notch. I loved the Hokie stone of the buildings, how the campus was laid out and the food was a great selling point as well.

Why did you choose Tech? I loved everything about Virginia Tech from the moment I hit campus. I felt at home with current players, the coaches and the entire Hokie atmosphere. Also, the coaches are awesome and I felt I formed strong bonds throughout the process even before my commitment.

What do you like about the Tech baseball program? I’m excited to become a better baseball player through the knowledge of the Hokie coaching staff. I love the team’s energy level and the desire to win. I’m exciting about being able to contribute in any way that I can so we can advance to the ACC postseason with the common goal of getting to Omaha.

What are your baseball strengths? I have a very strong left-handed arm with speed and my bat power. I continue to work hard to become as athletic as possible to improve my tools. I consider myself to be highly coachable, competitive and will go all out to assist my team in winning wherever I can. I am very unselfish.

Who is your favorite pro baseball player (why)? Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) because he plays the game the right way. I also played in the same travel organization as him.

What is your most memorable baseball moment (why)? When my travel team played in a very competitive 16U tournament at UVA and we won the tournament. I was named the MVP when I hit .706 that weekend setting a new Dynamic Tournament Record (image right).

What do you think you will major in? Possibly business or education but still undecided.

What's one thing you'd want Tech fans to know about you? That I will give everything that I got to help the Hokie family succeed.

March 28, 2017 - 6:33 pm
Virginia Tech Baseball hosts Military Appreciation Night

Tuesday night at English Field at Union Park, more than 500 Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets members attended the Hokies’ baseball game against Campbell. The night started with the head of Virginia Tech’s Army ROTC, Colonial Kevin Milton, presenting the ROTC scholarship to Cadet Neil Schubel – which will cover his full college tuition for the remainder of his studies at Virginia Tech. Cadet Jack Crockett threw out the first pitch, Skipper made an appearance behind the outfield wall and the Highty-Tighties played during half innings. Check out some of the images from the event below and check out the game's recap for a full gallery.

March 15, 2017 - 1:15 pm
Collegiate Times covers Canisius victory

Virginia Tech blanks Canisius 11–0 behind strong pitching and timely hitting - written by Nathan Loprete of The Collegiate Times

Coming off of a weekend series against Duke, the Hokies returned to action on Monday when they hosted Canisius. Due to the impending weather that is hitting the East Coast, the game that was scheduled for Tuesday was moved up.

After working out of the bullpen on Saturday, Connor Coward made the start for Virginia Tech. Coward, who has been the Hokies' most consistent starter this year, came in with 1.86 ERA. He got run support early and settled into a rhythm on the mound after a shaky first inning.

In the first inning, Hokie second baseman Jack Owens led off with a single. He later scored on a sacrifice fly from Sam Fragale.

In the third inning with the bases loaded, Fragale singled to left and Owens scored again. The Hokies' first baseman went 2–4 with two RBIs to raise his average to .400, which is a team high

To read more, CLICK HERE

March 6, 2017 - 9:46 am
Catching up with #ProHokies in MLB Spring Training

The second week of MLB's spring training featured #ProHokies Jesse Hahn picking up his first win for the Oakland Athletics, while teammate Chad Pinder hit his first home run of the spring. Check out brief write-ups on all five Hokies below, which includes links to some stories and a tweet or two.

Jesse Hahn, Oakland Athletics (link to bio)
Hahn rebounded from his opening day start to toss three scoreless innings against Texas. He scattered three hits, struck out the side in the first and picked up the win. Here are links to stories from Athletics Nation and The Mercury News about his outing.

Chad Pinder, Oakland Athletics (link to bio)
Pinder has enjoyed a nice start to the month of March, getting a start against Cleveland at shortstop on March 4 and hitting his first home run of spring training. He also came off the bench in that Texas game and singled, walked and scored a run. In March 5's game against Seattle, his sac fly RBI in the eighth proved to be the game-winner in the A's 5-4 victory. He's also struck out just once in his last six plate appearances after a three-K in five-AB February.

Ben Rowen, New York Mets (link to bio)
​Rowen continues to impress on the mound, tossing two perfect frames for the Mets in two outings. He struck out two St. Louis Cardinals in the sixth on March 1 and fanned one against Houston on March 4. This spring, he's thrown three innings, allowed one hit and struck out three. Link to a brief story on him.

Mark Zagunis, Chicago Cubs (link to bio)
Off the bench in a March 2 game against the Cincinnati Reds, Zagunis had his first hit and scored his first run of spring training. He's been limited to just one plate appearance and two games since then.

Joe Mantiply, New York Yankees (link to bio)
Mantiply continues to get his chances with the Yankees. In his last appearnce, he was called in from the bullpen in the bottom of the ninth in a 2-2 game with the Blue Jays. After getting the first out, he surrended a walk-off home run.

March 1, 2017 - 10:46 am
Five Hokies see action in first week of MLB Spring Training

Major League Baseball’s 2017 Spring Training games are in full swing and there are five Hokies who are currently playing for their respective clubs. Below is a quick summary of their first week of action. Click on the link next to their name to see their full bio page.

Jesse Hahn, Oakland Athletics (link to bio)
​Started the Spring Training opener for the Athletics and struck out two in 1.2 innings of work.

Joe Mantiply, New York Yankees (link to bio)
Has already posted a 1-1 record in two relief appearances. He picked up the win after a scoreless relief inning against Baltimore.

Chad Pinder, Oakland Athletics (link to bio)
Has appeared in three games so far and has drawn one walk in five plate appearances while playing at second base in the field.

Ben Rowen, New York Mets (link to bio)
​Has pitched out of the bullpen in just one game, tossing a scoreless inning despite allowing a hit.

Mark Zagunis, Chicago Cubs (link to bio)
Has played in three games so far and has drawn one walk and also has an RBI while playing in the outfield.

February 15, 2017 - 10:25 am
MLB Spring Training Begins

Pitchers and catchers began reporting to camp this week, while position players start to arrive on Feb. 16 with first full workouts for all Major League Baseball teams scheduled for Feb. 17 or Feb. 18.

With that in mind, there will be five Hokies in Spring Training this year, with the Oakland Athletics housing two. Both Jesse Hahn and Chad Pinder are part of the A's 40-man roster, while Joe Mantiply (New York Yankess), Ben Rowen (New York Mets) and Mark Zagunis (Chicago Cubs) have all received non-roster invitations.

There has already been some buzz on social media about the five Hokies, check out the tweets below.






February 11, 2017 - 4:45 pm
Collegiate Times previews the 2017 season

Virginia Tech baseball determined to start the season 1–0 - written by Nathan Loprete of The Collegiate Times

The college baseball season is just around the corner and the Virginia Tech baseball team is ready to re-write the script. Following a 19–36 campaign in 2016, head coach Patrick Mason has put his players in the right mindset to do so. Tech has plenty of returners on the mound, but will have to replace two key bats in the lineup. The Hokies also have solid senior leadership in the clubhouse and they hope that will translate into more consistent play.

The pitching staff in Blacksburg was a major area of concern in the offseason for the Hokies. With a team ERA of 6.49, Virginia Tech had to make a move. Mason brought in an experienced pitching coach, Jamie Pinzino, in July. Pinzino had been the pitching coach at Oklahoma for three seasons and helped turn the Sooners into one of the better teams in the Big 12.

Tech saw two of its best arms go down to injuries a year ago. Luke Scherzer and Aaron McGarity went down early and it had an effect on the season. With both healthy now, Tech seems to have more depth and stability.

Scherzer talked about coming back and the role that he hopes to play in 2017. “I’m just sticking to the rehab plans,” he said. “I’m going to be expecting an innings limit. I won’t be able to throw back-to-back days.”

CLICK HERE to read the full story.

February 10, 2017 - 8:37 am
Tech Sideline previews 2017 baseball season - Part 2

Virginia Tech Baseball Hopes for Healthy Pitching Staff in 2017 - written by Cory Van Dyke of Tech Sideline

Part two of TSL’s preview on Virginia Tech’s baseball team takes a look at the pitching rotation.

If you take one glance at the Hokies’ earned run average as a staff in 2016, the number will jump out at you. The 6.49 team ERA (last in ACC) was over a full run higher than the next worst team (Wake Forest- 5.24 ERA), and it was the obvious reason for many of Tech’s struggles in 2016.

In fact, injuries derailed the pitching staff last year and forced coach Pat Mason to put some guys in roles that they weren’t accustomed to. This year if the Hokies can avoid the injury bug, they have the arms in line to compete in the gauntlet that is the ACC.

Addition of Jamie Pinzino: In July, Tech bolstered their pitching staff when they hired Jamie Pinzino as the team’s pitching coach as well as recruiting coordinator. Pinzino had spent the previous three years at Oklahoma, where he was the pitching coach under former Virginia Tech head coach Pete Hughes. Over those three seasons, Pinzino acquired quite a reputation for developing his pitchers, as 13 hurlers from Oklahoma were selected in the MLB Draft.

CLICK HERE to read the full story.

February 8, 2017 - 2:42 pm
D1Baseball.com previews the ACC race - what did they write about Hokies?

Last week, D1Baseball.com released its 2017 season preview for the ACC and also announed its picks for Top Prospects for the 2017 and 2018 Draft and its Impact Freshmen for the year.

To see the entire preview, CLICK HERE, while below is who D1Baseball.com identified from the Hokies' roster and its capsule for the 2017 Tech program.

Packy Naughton was listed at 23, while Aaron McGarity was tabbed at 31 on its list for 2017 Top Prospects from the league, while Stevie Mangrum made the 2018 list at No. 40. The organization ranked JD Mundy at No. 31 and Connor yoder at No. 38 for the top freshmen in the ACC this incoming season.

Here is what D1Baseball wrote about the Hokies.


Virginia Tech was bad last year, finishing in the ACC basement and winning just 19 games overall, the program’s fewest since 1974. The Hokies returned to campus in the fall hungry to vanquish the memory of the 2016 season, and they appear to have a shot at posting a winning record for the first time in coach Pat Mason’s four years at the helm. Seven starters are back in the lineup, led by veteran 1B Sam Fragale (.267/.338/.445, 7 HR), a high-energy, hard-nosed captain with big power potential. Fellow fourth-year junior LF Nick Anderson (.339/.418/.483, 4 HR) was the team’s best overall hitter last year, a clutch performer with a good feel for his barrel and some pop to all fields. He figures to hit in the cleanup spot behind yet another fourth-year junior, RF Tom Stoffel, a compact lefthanded hitter who looks poised to increase his production this spring. So. DH Stevie Mangrum is a breakout candidate after a strong summer and productive fall; he’s a talented righthanded hitter with emerging power.

But Virginia Tech’s strength should be its pitching, thanks largely to the return of ace RHP Aaron McGarity and closer Luke Scherzer from injuries that cost them most (in McGarity’s case) and all (in Scherzer’s case) of the 2016 season. McGarity is a legitimate prospect who the Hokies say flashes mid-90s heat and a good slider — and he commands his stuff. Scherzer is a dogged competitor whose calling card is his swing-and-miss slider. He and polished four-pitch strike-throwing LHP Kit Scheetz will anchor the bullpen. For Virginia Tech to make some real noise, however, it will need Jr. LHP Packy Naughton (3-7, 6.75) and Jr. RHP Connor Coward (1-1, 7.42) to take big steps forward – and they both have the talent to do just that. Naughton boosted his stock significantly with a dazzling summer in the Cape, posting a 1.68 ERA over 42.2 innings while striking out 42 and walking just six. Naughton pitched at 90-93 and touched 94 mph multiple times per game in the summer, also showing a quality changeup with late action and an above-average breaking ball. Coward, meanwhile, has a fast arm that can generate low-90s heat and another putaway breaking ball when he’s on. Anderson will also see time on the mound, likely as the midweek starter. His strength is his ability to locate his 90 mph fastball at the bottom of the zone.

February 7, 2017 - 8:38 am
Tech Sideline previews 2017 baseball season - Part 1

Virginia Tech Baseball Returns Experience Lineup in 2017 - written by Cory Van Dyke of Tech Sideline

The smell of freshly cut grass and ballpark hot dogs is in the air. Virginia Tech baseball is just under two weeks away from beginning their season on February 17 at USC Upstate.

Following a recent practice, I was able to sit down with Coach Pat Mason and discuss the 2017 season.

As a part of TSL’s increased coverage of the Hokie baseball team this year, a two-part preview on the team will be released. In the first part, I’ll take a look at Virginia Tech’s position players.

Outlook: Following a disappointing 19-36 record in his third season as Virginia Tech’s head coach, Mason intends to use last year as a learning experience and a little motivation to fire the guys up. Even through the fall practices and the practices leading up to the season now, he’s seen a renewed energy out of the team.

“You can’t forget anything that has happened in the past,” said Mason. “Good, bad, indifferent, that’s your life experience. Whether it’s on the field or wherever it is. You’re certainly trying to improve upon whatever it is that happened in the past. You’d like to maybe forget it, but it happened. How is that going to make us better this year and today? All we’re trying to do, all we focused on in the fall is trying to win the day, compete, be better today than we were yesterday. We really have a simple focus and a simple mindset with that.”

CLICK HERE to read the full story.

January 23, 2017 - 10:38 am
Ben Rowen signed with Mets and invited to spring training

Last month, former Virginia Tech pitcher Ben Rowen agreed to a minor league contract with the New York Mets​and was invited to attend their big league spring training.

Rowen, 28, was 0-4 with a 2.47 ERA and one save this year for Toronto's Triple-A team at Buffalo, then was claimed by Milwaukee off waivers on Aug. 4 and had a 1.69 ERA at Triple-A Colorado Springs with 12 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings.

He allowed five earned runs over three innings during four games with the Brewers in September. His first big league action was eight games with Texas in 2014. He allowed five earned runs over three innings during four games with the Brewers in September. His first big league action was eight games with Texas in 2014.

Links to articles about the signing:

Newly-signed RHP Ben Rowen could bolster middle relief - By Maggie Wiggin

Featured Post: Ben Rowen might be Mets' Diamond in the Rough - By Mathew Brownstein

December 16, 2016 - 2:23 pm
#Hokieball graduates two in December

Virginia Tech held its December graduate on Dec. 16 in Cassel Coleseum and two former members of the Tech baseball team earned their degrees with Chad Pinder, who last played for the Hokies in 2013, and Luis Collazo, who just ended his career back in May, both finishing their coursework the past semester.

Below are some of the social graphics made for the occasion.

December 1, 2016 - 9:11 am
Freiday, Jr. sets weight room record, Fragale comes close to second

On November 30, #Hokieball was in the weight room for one of its last times in 2016. During the session, players attempted to lift their maximum weight in several areas and one of the Hokies' records went down and a second was almost surpassed. Tyler Horan previously held the cleaning record, but held on to keep his bench record.

Joe Freiday, Jr. took an attempt at Horan's mark and was successful.

And Horan was quick to acknowledge the effort.

Just a bit later, Sam Fragale was looking strong to break Horan's bench record, but missed. However, did get within 15 pounds, which isn't too bad.

November 18, 2016 - 8:47 am
Hokies hold annual Shave event

The Virginia Tech baseball program partnered with the St. Baldrick's Foundation to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer and held their seventh annual Shave for the Brave on Sunday, November 13 on Tech's Drillfield. The Hokies were joined by members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets for the 2016 #Hokieball Shave that saw more than 80 participants go bald for the great cause.

CLICK HERE for the full release.
Below, see some of the social media posts from the event.

October 29, 2016 - 9:32 pm
Team World wins Fall World Series with 10-3 victory in Game 3

Trailing 2-0 entering the third frame, Team World's Sam Fragale sparked a comeback for his team as they outscored Team Virginia 10-1 over the final seven innings and won the 2016 Hokieball Fall World Series with a 10-3 victory in Game 3 on Saturday at English Field at Union Park.

Fragale, who was named the Series' MVP, hit a two-run home run in the third to turn a one-run deficit into a 3-2 lead. Team World never looked back as its pitchers were solid the entire game. Nick Anderson got the start and struck out six in three innings. Tim Salvadore (1.0 IP), Andrew McDonald (2.0 IP/4 K), Tom Stoffel (0.2/2) Culver Hughes (0.2) and Kit Scheetz (1.2) combined to allow just five hits in the last eight innings.

Fragale added a double and another run to his totals, while Stoffel also hit a two-run home run and drove in three total to lead Team World. Jake Rosen led the team with three runs scored and Ryan Tufts also crossed the plate twice.

Graham Seitz struck out six over four innings for Team Virginia to lead his team on the mound. At the plate, Jack Owens, Rahiem Cooper and JD Mundy all had two hits, with Owens getting the only extra-base hit - an RBI double in the first. Stevie Mangrum knocked home Owens in the first to give Team Virginia the 2-0 lead.

October 26, 2016 - 12:54 pm
Team Virginia evens Fall World Series with 10-4 win

Joey Sullivan worked three perfect frames and a total of five Team Virginia pitchers combined to allow just four hits to help their team to a 10-4 victory on Tuesday night at English Field at Union Park and even the #Hokieball Fall World Series at one game each and set up a final winner-take-all scenario on Saturday.

Sullivan struck out five and walked two in his 3.2 innings of work while Keagan McGinnis (1.0 IP), Robert Riddick (2.1), Paul Hall, Jr. (1.2) and Graham Seitz (0.1) held Team World to just four runs, as walks hurt the staff - all four runs that scored got on base with a free pass.

It was not enough for Team World, though, as Team Virginia came out with two first-inning runs and never looked back. Mac Caples and JD Mundy had RBIs in the first, while Stevie Mangrum knocked in three total - two with a single in the fifth and another with a double in the seventh.

Caples led his team with three runs, with Grant Maiorana and Jack Owens each crossing the plate two times. Rahiem Cooper had two hits, including his third triple of the series and Marcus White also had a three-base hit.

Matt Dauby led Team World at the plate with two hits, including a double, and two RBIs and Sam Fragale added an RBI double.

The final game of the #Hokieball Fall World Series will take place on Saturday afternoon at English Field at Union Park with a 4 p.m. first pitch.

October 21, 2016 - 10:37 pm
Team World easily takes Game 1 of #Hokieball Fall World Series

Behind Ryan Tufts and Nick Anderson, Team World opened the #Hokieball Fall World Series with a 13-2 victory over Team Virginia on Friday night at English Field at Union Park. Tufts finished with four doubles, drove in three runs and scored three times, while Anderson had a triple, three RBIs and pitched four strong innings on the mound to open the game.

Leading 2-1 after three, Team World scored in every inning from the fourth to the eighth with everyone in its lineup contributing to the offense. Tom Stoffel had an RBI and two runs, Joe Freiday, Jr. had three RBI singles, Sam Fragale scored twice and knocked in two, Matt Dauby had a double, a triple and two runs, and Jake Rosen also crossed the plate twice.

For Team Virginia, Rahiem Cooper had two triples and scored two runs - in the first and ninth - to highlight his team's offensive efforts.

Team World's pitching staff of Anderson (4 IP), Tim Salvadore (1 IP), Cole Kragle (1 IP), Culver Hughes (1 IP), Andrew McDonald (0.2 IP) and Kit Scheetz (1.1 IP) shutdown their opposition's bats for most of the night to help lead the squad to victory.

Game 2 of the Fall World Series is set for Tuesday at English Field at Union Park with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. Game 3 will be Saturday starting at 4 p.m.

October 21, 2016 - 9:30 am
Hokies' Fall World Series starts tonight

The Virginia Tech baseball team has practiced and scrimmaged the past five weeks, now it's time for the Hokes' Fall World Series. The squad split up into two teams and will play a best-of-three series strarting tonight at 5:30 p.m. at English Field at Union Park.

Game 2 is slated for Tuesday night, Oct. 25 with a 7 p.m. first pitch and Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, Oct. 29, with a 4 p.m. start.

CLICK HERE to view the rosters for the series and keep track of the games through Twitter at @VT_Baseball and Baseball's #HokieHuddle for short postgame recaps.

October 5, 2016 - 5:00 pm
Check out articles written about #HokieBall this fall

The Virginia Tech baseball team has seen an increase in the media interest for the program this fall which has led to a couple of postscrimmage availability for players and coaches. Below are the outlets covering the team this fall and links to the stories they have posted so far.

Tech Sidelines: Cory Van Dyke

Collegiate Times: Nathan Loprete

FOX Sports Radio 1340 AM: Amber Miller

October 4, 2016 - 11:41 am
ACC selects local for 2017 Baseball Championship

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – The Atlantic Coast Conference has selected host locales and venues for eight of its 2016-17 league championships. Championship sites and dates announced on Tuesday includes the 2017 ACC Baseball Championship, which will be held from May 23-28.

The 2017 event will be held at Louisville Slugger Field, in Louisville, Kentucky. The stadium, which opened in 2000, boasts a seating capacity of 13,131 and is home to the Louisville Bats’ minor league team. Louisville Slugger Field played host to the 2008 Triple-A All-Star Game and features 32 private suites in addition to second-level club seating.

September 27, 2016 - 7:01 pm
Virginia Tech Baseball looking for improvement In fall ball

Last Friday, Tech Sidelines' baseball beat writer Cory Van Dyke attended the Hokies second fall scrimmage and afterwards spoke with head coach Patrick Mason and several players. He posted a story on the site on Tuesday. Below are the first few graphs of the story, CLICK HERE to read the story in its entirety.


After a long offseason, Virginia Tech baseball is finally in the full swing of their fall season, lacing up the cleats and stepping back onto the diamond. With a week of practice now complete, the Hokies had their second intrasquad scrimmage Friday night under the lights at English Field at Union Park.

“Last week they each threw one inning, and tonight we saw a couple guys throw two innings, so they’re still finding their identity,” said head coach Patrick Mason. “Some guys who are new to our program and maybe aren’t comfortable yet, and some of the older guys in leadership roles are still trying to figure out what their role is. I think what I’ve seen from our team is still a team searching for their identity, but we’ve had some leaders like Sam Fragale be more vocal. Kit Scheetz has been pretty vocal, as well as Luke Scherzer. So we’ve had some guys emerge as leaders who weren’t necessarily leaders last year. Sam in particular has done a really good job in that role.”

Again, CLICK HERE to read the story in its entirety.

September 22, 2016 - 11:58 am
Baseball's No. 1 jersey and number retired 10 years ago

On May 2, 2006, Virginia Tech baseball's legendary coach Chuck Hartman announced during a meeting with his team that he would retire as the Hokies' head coach following the completion of the 2006 season. Just over four months later, the Tech Athletics Department honored Hartman for his years of service as the Hokies' coach at a retirement dinner.

That evening, Sept. 22, 2006, it was revealed the familiar No. 1 he wore for 28 seasons as the Hokies' skipper would no longer be seen on a baseball jersey at Virginia Tech. The No. 1 became the first baseball number retired by the school and joined the late, great Johnny Oates as the only numbers honored by Tech on its outfield wall at English Field at Union Park. Oates jersey was retired on May 4, 2002.

Additional Links

Left: Coach Hartman at the conclusion of his final home game at Tech on May 16, 2006 - Chuck Hartman Night - alongside his late wife, Ellen.

September 13, 2016 - 12:43 pm
Coward, McDonald look to capitalize on gains made this summer

Recently, Tech Sidelines writer Cory Van Dyke caught up with Tech players Connor Coward and Andrew McDonald to talk about their 2016 summer league experiences in the Prospects League. Below are the first few graphs of the story, CLICK HERE to read the story in its entirety.


Sometimes in life ‘Plan A’ isn’t always going to happen as anticipated. It’s during those times when the true character of an athlete is tested.

For junior Connor Coward and redshirt junior Andrew McDonald, the 2016 campaign left a bitter taste for both, as each had their struggles on the bump. However, instead of dwelling in the past, both pitchers found refuge in the Prospect League over the summer to work on their craft.

As a member of the Butler BlueSox, Coward excelled, posting a 3-1 record in nine starts along with a 2.22 earned run average and 68 strikeouts in 56.2 innings pitched. McDonald found similar success with the Champion City Kings, holding a record of 2-5 in 11 starts despite a paltry 2.80 earned run average.

“It’s my second year playing there,” said Coward. “I absolutely love the organization. It’s one of the best run organizations I’ve ever played for. They fill the seats every night and the fans are great. Overall, I wanted to go back to the basics pretty much and just get my footing in a place where I know that I can succeed.”

For full story, CLICK HERE.

August 31, 2016 - 2:29 pm
Chad Pinder realizes major-league dream

Recently, Roanoke Times sports writer Mark Berman caught up with former Tech player Chad Pinder, who became the school's 18th Major League Baseball player, and Oakland Athletics' assistant general manager Dan Feinstein for a story. The article appeared in the paper over the weekend. Below are the first few graphs of the story, CLICK HERE to read the story in its entirety.


Three years ago, Chad Pinder helped the Virginia Tech baseball team reach the NCAA tournament.

Now, he’s in the major leagues.

The former Hokies infielder was promoted by the Oakland Athletics from Triple-A Nashville on Aug. 17, and made his major-league debut three days later.

“It’s been awesome,” Pinder said Saturday in a phone interview. “It’s something that you work for your whole life, and now, you get to experience it.”

Pinder entered Saturday having started five games for Oakland — three at shortstop and two at second base. Oakland put second baseman Tyler Ladendorf on the disabled list on the day it promoted Pinder.

“At first, you get to the [Oakland] locker room and you’re like, ‘Wow. This is it. This is awesome,’ ” Pinder said. “But now, you know you’ve got a job to do.”

For full story, CLICK HERE.

August 19, 2016 - 9:31 am
Saige Jenco taking on professional baseball

Recently, John McConigal of the Centre Daily Times (State College, Pennsylvania) wrote a story on former Virginia Tech centerfielder Saige Jenco and his adjustment to the minor leagues. Below is the first couple of paragraphs, CLICK HERE to read the full story.


On June 11, Saige Jenco, surrounded by family, turned to his uncle.

I want to play for the Dodgers more than anything in the world, Jenco said at the time.

A mere 15 minutes later, he got the call.

Jenco was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 24th round.

“I didn’t have a feel for who was going to draft me,” the center fielder said. “But I knew who I wanted to play for.”

A 2012 State College graduate, Jenco was a three-sport athlete for the Little Lions before starring in baseball for Virginia Tech.

Now he’s playing for the Great Lakes Loons, a Low Class-A team in the Midwest League based out of Midland, Mich.

And a little more than a month-and-a-half into his professional baseball career, Jenco is settling in nicely.


Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/sports/article96057697.html#storylink=cpy
August 18, 2016 - 12:33 pm
Pinder gets the call, Hokie Nation responds

On Wednesday, August 17, former Virginia Tech infielder Chad Pinder was called up to the big leagues by the Oakland Athletics and joined the team in Texas. Shortly after the official announcement, Hokie Nation responded on social media - below are some of those mentions. CLICK HERE to see all the most recent tweets about our most recent MLB player.

July 29, 2016 - 11:29 am
McGarity, Dauby set to return to Hokies for upcoming season

Over the past few weeks, the Virginia Tech baseball program has received news that two of its players – Aaron McGarity and Matt Dauby – will be returning for the 2017 season.

McGarity, who was drafted in the 34th round of the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft by the Boston Red Sox, did not sign with the organization prior to the signing deadline, which was July 15. McGarity was limited last year due to injury, but did appear in 10 games, struck out 19 in 11.1 innings pitched and posted a 2-0 record with one save and a 2.38 ERA. The Richmond, Virginia, native returns to the Hokies as a redshirt-junior, which means he could still pitch two more seasons with the program.

Dauby, who played four seasons with Tech and went through Senior Day ceremonies at English Field at Union Park back in May, was recently granted a hardship appeal by the NCAA and thereby established another year of eligibility. The Carmel, Indiana, product played in 125 career games for the Hokies. The now, redshirt-senior made the most of what could have been his final season by posting career season highs in every offensive category, including 31 runs, which tied for fourth on the team, and three home runs (tied for third).

July 12, 2016 - 2:02 pm
Holding on to Hope - Roanoke Times piece on former player Blaszak

In Monday's Roanoke Times - on the front page of the main section - Travis Williams wrote a great story on Blacksburg native and former Virginia Tech baseball player Tom Blaszak (2002-05) and his wife Whitney, who spent four years trying to adopt an Ethiopian girl they had met during a mission trip in 2012. Below are the first few graphs of the story, CLICK HERE to read the story in its entirety.


Whitney Blaszak knelt to catch the tiny Ethiopian child hurling through the airport gate towards her.

With tear-soaked cheeks, the mother received the embrace she and her husband, Tom Blaszak, had worked tirelessly for four years to make happen.

“It’s better than I ever imagined,” Whitney Blaszak said.

Last month, Tom Blaszak made the 8,000-mile trip to Ethiopia to officially adopt Tigest, a 10-year-old orphan the Christiansburg couple met during a 2012 mission trip.

On Saturday, he returned with the girl and introduced her to her three younger sisters — Sydney, 6, Kaylee, 2, and Taylor, 11 months — to her grandparents and to family friends who had gathered at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport.

The moment marked the end of the family’s four-year battle that included struggling with the American and Ethiopian governments, being caught in the middle of an international fraud scheme with a corrupt adoption agency, and spending more than $50,000 to make the child their daughter.

“It’s almost unreal ... It’s like a dream come true,” Tom Blaszak said.

The Blaszaks’ dream began when they decided to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary in June 2012 by taking a 10-day mission trip aimed at helping children in the Korah village of Ethiopia.

For full story, CLICK HERE.

July 1, 2016 - 11:15 pm
Stadium Journey ranks English Field No. 4

Stadium Journey has visited and reviewed almost every ballpark in Division I college baseball and recently posted its newest rankings of the Top 50 best ballparks in college baseball and Virginia Tech's English Field came in at No. 4.

With the College World Series completed, Stadium Journey compiled the work of correspondents across the country to produce the 2016 NCAA Ballpark Experience Rankings. With 295 NCAA Division I ballparks reviewed, they're just four short of their goal to review each Division I college baseball venue (sorry to Washington State, Monmouth, Tennessee-Martin, and NYIT).

Stadium Journey used the "FANFARE" system to provide an overall fan experience rating based on several important categories. These categories include F - Food & Beverage (concessions), A - Atmosphere, N - Neighborhood, F - Fans, A - Access, R - Return on Investment, and E - Extras. The combined average score is based on a five star system, where five is the highest rating possible.

CLICK HERE to see their complete rankings and be sure to click on each review for an in-depth description of the ballpark's rating.

June 21, 2016 - 1:21 pm
Saige Jenco signs with Dodgers, assigned to Ogden Raptors

On June 17, Saige Jenco officially signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who drafted the Virginia Tech outfielder in the 24th round of the 2016 MLB draft. Three days later the organization assigned the State College, Pennsylvania native to the Odgen Raptors. Jenco (CLICK HERE for his MiLB page) sent out an instagram just before his first game, shown below, and several congratulations then poured in.

First professional game. Sticking with the 1 8

A photo posted by Saige Jenco (@jenco3) on Jun 20, 2016 at 5:15pm PDT

May 31, 2016 - 9:41 am
Hokies honor seniors on social media pages

During the week of May 23-28, the Virginia Tech social media accounts honored the six seniors of the program with posts thanking them for their time with the Hokies, which included an image from each of their seasons with the program. Follow @VT_Baseball to better see the full images and to follow what the players are doing this summer.







April 19, 2016 - 9:42 am
Hokies in the Pros update - April 19

Currently there are 12 former Virginia Tech baseball members who are currently playing professional baseball during the 2016 season. Below (by level) is a brief progress report on each. CLICK HERE for a page that includes all players and links to their professional bios.

Jesse Hahn – Nashville Sound
Has made two starts, has tossed six innings in each and has 11 strikeouts … Despite not allowing an earned run in either game, has not factored into a decision … Opponents are batting just .154 against him (six hits and four walks) and has a 0.83 WHIP.

Chad Pinder – Nashville Sound
Ten games into his first Triple-A season, Pinder is batting a healthy .250 with 10 hits (two doubles) in 40 at-bats … After getting just two hits in his first five games, has eight in the last five including a 3 for 5 night on April 18 … Has collected three RBIs and has scored a pair of runs … Has started mostly at shortstop.

Ben Rowen – Buffalo Bison
Has made six appearances out of the bullpen, tossing 6.0 innings and striking out six … Struck out the side in his first appearance of the year, April 8 … Has allowed eight hits and just one earned run, while walking four batters, one intentional.

Tim Smalling – Albuquerque Isotopes
In 11 games so far, Smalling has seen action at third, second, DH and has been up and down the lineup … However, he’s batting .278 with 10 hits, which includes a double and a grand slam … Has posted three multi-hit games, including a season-high three hits with two runs scored on April 18 … Adds five runs and six RBIs to his totals.

Justin Wright – Memphis Cardinals
Has made five appearances out of the bullpen, tossing 4.2 innings and striking out five … Struck out two batters in his first game, April 7 … Has allowed four hits and four walks, but has given up just one run, on a solo home run on April 11 … Has not factored in any decisions … Closing in on 300 career innings pitched in the pros (298.2 IP) and has 321 strikeouts in that time.

Tyler Horan – Richmond Flying Squirrels
Being used mostly off the bench, Horan has two hits, including a pinch-hit RBI single on April 18 … Has two RBI in his last two games … In two starts, has been in left field.

Joe Mantiply – Erie SeaWolves
Has made six appearances out of the bullpen, tossing 6.2 innings and striking out six … Struck out two batters in two relief appearances … Has allowed five hits and three walks, and has yet to allow an earned run (two unearned) … Has not factored in any decisions.

Brad Markey – Tennessee Smokies
Has made two starts, has tossed five innings in each and has five strikeouts … Despite allowing just two earned runs, has not factored into a decision … Opponents are batting just .222 against him (eight hits and two walks) and has a 1.00 WHIP.

Ronnie Shaban – Springfield Cardinals
Has made four appearances out of the bullpen, tossing 3.2 innings and striking out five … Is 2 for 2 in save opportunities … Struck out two batters game on April 12 … Has allowed three hits and no walks and two earned runs … Has a 0.82 WHIP.

Mark Zagunis – Tennessee Smokies
Ten games into his first Double-A season, Zagunis is batting a healthy .250 with eight hits (two doubles) in 32 at-bats … Had a season best 3 for 4 game on April 11 … Has collected two RBIs and has scored three times, while adding six walks for a .368 on-base percentage … Eight of his 10 starts have been in left field, with one in right and one as DH

Eddie Campbell – Bakersfield Blaze
Has made two starts for the Blaze and has a 1-0 record … Picked up win on April 16 after tossing 5.0 innings, allowing four hits and no runs and striking out seven … Has a total of 8.2 innings pitched, which pushed his career innings pitched to 302.0 and has 263 strikeouts in that time.

Brendon Hayden – Lakewood BlueClaws​
Has been the starting first baseman for the BlueClaws and already has 11 games under his belt … Has eight hits, including a double, and three walk and has crossed the plate three times … Also stole his first professional base on April 13.

April 5, 2016 - 6:07 pm
Hokies hold annual Military Appreciation Game

On Tuesday, April 5, the Tech baseball team held its annual Military Appreciation game at English Field at Union Park, which included several pregame ceremonies, the Highty Tighties performing the National Anthem (and during some inning breaks) and Skipper firing at the end of the anthem.

Almost 500 members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets attended the game and were on hand during a scholarship presentation pregame and the ceremonial first pitch delivered by freshman cadet Christopher Us.

The five members of the Corps of Cadets' Army ROTC program who were presented ROTC scholarship awards were Samuel Strickler, Nathan Stanley, Kathryn Strauss, John Shevlin and Anastasia Alvarez-Johnson.

April 4, 2016 - 12:46 pm
A wrap-up of MLB spring training and Hokie pro assignments

With Opening Day of the Major League Baseball season starting today, it’s a good time to reflect on what former Virginia Tech players did during spring training with MLB clubs and where the Hokies will call home to start the 2016 season.

Below (listed alphabetically by MLB team) are seven former players who saw action in spring training and where (if available) they will open their seasons. Below that are other Hokies with assignments (if available). CLICK HERE to navigate to the 2015 “Follow the Hokies in the pros” page that includes links to each players’ official MiLB bio page.

Chicago Cubs
Mark Zagunis – Played in five games and had six at-bats … Had a hit, a triple, and two walks, scoring two runs … Has been assigned to the Tennessee Smokies, Double-A, Southern League.

Colorado Rockies
Tim Smalling – Played in five games and had seven at-bats … Hit .429 with three hits, including a double … Also added a walk and two RBIs to his totals … no official news on assignment.

Detroit Tigers
Joe Mantiply – Pitched in one game, a total of 0.2 innings … allowed an earned run in that appearance … has been assigned to the Erie SeaWolves, Double-A, Eastern League.

Oakland Athletics
Jesse Hahn – Started five games and threw a total of 15.1 innings … was 0-1 with an 11.15 ERA … Struck out 11 and walked seven … has been optioned to Triple-A Nashville to start the season … is on the A’s 40-man roster.
Chad Pinder – Was a non-roster invitee to spring training … Played in 19 games and had 25 at-bats … Hit .240 with six hits, including a double and two home runs … Scored seven runs and knocked in four … Had a .520 slugging percentage and a .321 on-base percentage … no official news on assignment.

San Francisco Giants
Tyler Horan – Appeared in three games and went 0 for 2 and drew a walk … no official news on assignment.

Toronto Blue Jays
Ben Rowen – Appeared in three games and pitched a total of 1.2 innings and posted a 1-0 record … Allowed six earned runs in his time on the mound … Has been optioned to the Buffalo Bisons, Triple-A, International League.

Other News
Chicago Cubs
Brad Markey – Has been assigned to the Tennessee Smokies, Double-A, Southern League.

Philadelphia Phillies
Brendon Hayden – Has been assigned to the Lakewood BlueClaws, Class-A, South Atlantic League.

No assignments yet for …
Devin Burke
Eddie Campbell
Sean Keselica
Alex Perez
Ronnie Shaban
Austin Wates
Justin Wright

March 24, 2016 - 6:51 pm
Tech recognizes Union Bank at Thursday baseball game

Virginia Tech President Dr. Timothy Sands, Athletic Director Whit Babcock and Hokies’ Baseball Coach Patrick Mason joined Union Bank & Trust CEO Billy Beale on the field today for a special ceremony. See Photo Gallery and Video below.

Earlier this week, Virginia Tech announced a partnership and $3.5 million gift from Union Bank & Trust, which will be used for upgrades to what is now known as English Field at Union Park. The baseball team presented Beale with a framed jersey and he also threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Hokies’ game against Notre Dame.

February 22, 2016 - 11:50 am
Meet the newest #Hokieball member - Connor Yoder

Name: Connor Yoder
Position: Right-hand pitcher
Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 230 pounds
Hometown: Enola, Pennsylvania
High School: East Pennsboro
Other Schools considered: Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia

Why did you choose Tech? I liked the family feel, the scenery and the outdoor environment.

What was your favorite thing about your visit? Hanging out with my future teammates.

What do you like about the Tech baseball program? It is one big family, and I think the coaching staff will make me a much better player.

What are your baseball strengths? My mental toughness and my power to not give up.

Who is your favorite pro baseball player? Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan

What is your most memorable baseball moment and why? Winning in Cooperstown and throwing 14 consecutive no-hit innings last spring.

What do you think you will major in? Economics

What's one thing you'd want Tech fans to know about you? I love the outdoors – hunting and fishing.

February 15, 2016 - 11:38 am
Meet the newest #Hokieball member - Jake Rosen

Name: Jake Rosen
Position: middle infield
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 170 pounds
Hometown: Northborough, Massachusetts
High School: Saint John’s (Shrewsbury, Mass.)
Other Schools considered: Holy Cross, Northeastern, UConn

Career numbers (through junior season): In 64 games over three seasons, has a combined .325 batting average, a .450 on-base percentage and an .800 OPS percentage … Mostly batting leadoff, scored 61 runs, added 42 RBIs, stole 53 bases and hit one home run.

Why did you choose Tech? I chose Virginia Tech because the moment I stepped on campus, I felt at home. The campus is amazing and I loved the Hokie spirit all throughout Blacksburg. The baseball coaches are awesome and I cannot wait to develop both on the baseball field but also in the classroom.

What was your favorite thing about your visit? My favorite thing about my visit was the football game. It was the last home game for Coach (Frank) Beamer and the environment was electric. It was a great game and although VT lost, it was really exciting being there for Coach Beamers last home game.

What do you like about the Tech baseball program? I like that the team comes together and really forms a bond. Everyone has one goal, and that is to make it to the tournament. I hope to contribute as much as possible and help the team reach the goal of getting to Omaha.

What are your baseball strengths? My baseball strengths are fielding, hitting for average and my speed on the base paths. I always give 110 percent and I’m always trying to learn and craft my skills.

Who is your favorite pro baseball player? My favorite professional baseball player is Detroit Tigers middle infielder Ian Kinsler. He plays the game the right way and is very gritty and hard nosed.

What is your most memorable baseball moment and why? My most memorable baseball moment was during my freshman year in high school. I was called up from my JV baseball game to pinch-hit for the Varsity team just right across the street. I ended up hitting a double and scored the tying run that resulted in our team winning on a walk-off single.

What do you think you will major in? I will be majoring in liberal arts undeclared.

What's one thing you'd want Tech fans to know about you? I’d let fans know I love the water and someday hope to own a big boat!