Three Hokies set sights on championship rings

BLACKSBURG – As the calendar flipped to September, baseball’s professional minor leagues begin their second season – the playoffs. Starting tonight, three Hokies are still in action with championship aspirations, while Chad Pinder looks to finishes his rookie campaign with the Oakland Athletics. Two other former players season's have ended with one sharing a title. Below find the five Hokies who made playoff appearances below a highlight from Pinder. Clicking on their name will take you to the player’s bio page. A full pro recap will be released once the 2017 professional season completes.

Chad Pinder, Oakland Athletics – The A’s will not be making the postseason, but Pinder’s first year with the team has been solid. He’s currently batting .243 with 14 home runs and 38 RBI. After seeing action in 22 games as a late-season call-up in 2016, Pinder has made 63 starts for the A’s all over the diamond – shortstop, second base and the outfield. He recently notched his third career multi-homer game (see below).

Joe Mantiply, Scranton/Wilkes-Bare RailRaiders (AAA) – Mantiply posted a 6-5 mark during the regular season with one save. His team defeated Lehigh Valley, 3-1, in a best-of-five series and now play another five-game series against Durham for the Governors’ Cup Championship that begins tonight. If they win that, they will face the Pacific Coast League champion in one game for the overall Triple-A title.

Sean Keselica, Altoona Curve (AA) – Keselica was 4-2 with three saves for the Curve during the season, who swept the opening round series against Bowie. They now face Trenton in a five-game series for the Eastern League Championship that also starts tonight.

Alex Perez, Chattanooga Lookouts (AA) – Perez was assigned to the Lookouts in late June and played 40 games, batting .272 with a .395 on-base percentage, scored 21 runs and had 11 RBI. Chattanooga won a five-game series against Montgomery, 3-2, and due to Hurricane Irma, will share the Southern League Championship title with Pensacola, as the championship series has been cancelled.

Kit Scheetz, Quad Cities River Bandits (A) – Scheetz joined Quad Cities in mid-August and was effective in his four games, going 2-0 with a save and a 0.95 ERA in 19 innings. The River Bandits bested both Peoria and Cedar Rapids in a three-game series, 2-1 in each, and will face Fort Wayne in a five-game set starting on Wednesday for the Midwest League title. Click here to see his professional career-high ninth strikeout in last night's series clinching win and click here for his postgame interview.

Ryan Tufts, Hillsboro Hops (A-short) – Tufts was assigned to the Hops in July and played 12 games, batting .214 for the team. Hillsboro was swept in a three-game series against Eugene ending its Northwest League Championship run.

For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter