Hokies begin fall practice
Two freshmen named Georgia players of the year
September 11, 2007

BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Virginia Tech baseball team officially began its fall practice on Monday as part of a fall ball schedule that will last about five weeks and culminate with the annual Hokie Fall World Series on Oct. 10-12.

The intrasquad series is a best-of-three contest between the to-be-determined orange and maroon teams, and each game will be played at 5:30 p.m. at English Field.

According to the coaching staff, the Hokies are currently practicing with about 40 players and hope to get the roster down to 35 heading into the spring. New faces will account for much of that total, as the staff previously announced an official recruiting class of 18 players, including 14 freshmen and four transfers.

Two of those freshmen - Chris Kay and Ben Cornwell - were recently named the Georgia State Players of the Year by the Georgia Dugout Club, which is a division of the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association.

Kay is a catcher from Marietta, Ga., who helped lead Walton High School to the 2007 AAAAA state championship. He was named the AAAAA player of the year after batting .439 with eight home runs and 46 RBIs. In 155 at-bats, he walked 32 times, while striking out just 10 times. His 18 doubles on the season gave him Walton's single-season mark and also made him the school's career leader in two-baggers. Kay was also named the Cobb County Player of the Year, and was elected to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution First Team.

Cornwell is a right-handed pitcher from Holy Innocents' Episcopal School in Atlanta, and he was the ace of the AA state championship team in 2007. He was honored as the state's AA player of the year after going 9-2 with two saves, a 3.11 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 72 innings pitched. Cornwell held his opponents to a .179 batting average, and his season highlight came when he tossed a perfect game in the state semifinal.