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The weekend series: Tech opens its 120th season of baseball with two games apiece against 2012 NCAA postseason tournament teams. In fact, both Kent State (Mid-American Conference) and UNC Wilmington (Colonial Athletic Conference) won their respective conference tournaments to punch their tickets to the NCAA tournament. The weekend will feature three teams that are currently receiving votes in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ Poll, while in the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball polls, the Golden Flashes are ranked 31st and 34th, respectively, and the Seahawks are receiving votes in both polls.
Four games versus 2012 conference champs: The Hokies are the only team in the country opening the 2013 season against two conference tournament champions, playing a total of four games over the weekend. Also, Tech is one of just four teams in the nation that will start the year by playing a total of four games against a team (or teams) that won a 2012 conference tournament title. The others:
Portland at Mississippi State (SEC)
Miss. Valley State vs. Prairie View A&M (SWAC)
West Michigan at Pepperdine (West Coast)
Tech in season openers: The Hokies have posted a 61-56-2 record in season-opening games. The last time a Tech season opener was played at home was in 1995, and in the 17 years since, the Hokies have gone 10-7, but have won five of their last seven. In that time, Tech is 4-2 in openers in the state of North Carolina, however, the Hokies lost their last game (after winning three prior) in 2007 to Charlotte in Kannapolis - ironically the last time the team played on Feb. 15 (see below). Under head coach Pete Hughes, the Hokies have won four of six season openers, as they defeated Bradley, 6-4, last year in Kennesaw, Ga., and have now won two straight.
Games this weekend include two versus Kent State, Friday and Saturday at Noon, and two versus UNW Wilmington, Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Also available is audio of Tech's games versus Kent State via KSU broadcast on iHeart Radio. There is also a iHeart Radio app to listen on moble devices, just search "Golden Flashes radio". There is video of Tech's games versus UNCW through its website (there may be a cost associated with it, though).
For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Baseball).