JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 17, 2020) — After a stellar opening weekend where the Bucs picked up a series sweep over Toledo, ETSU’s baseball team will be back in action Tuesday afternoon as they travel to Blacksburg, Va. to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m.
GAME DAY CENTRAL
Tuesday’s matchup will kick off the 2020 home-and-home series between the two sides and will be streamed on ACC Network Extra.
The Bucs enter 2020 after concluding last season with a 34-21 record and an 11-12 record in the SoCon. The Bucs are led by head coach Joe Pennucci who is in his third season at the helm of Buccaneer baseball. The 33-man roster consists of 14 newcomers and six true freshmen.
Last weekend, ETSU swept Toledo at Thomas Stadium for their second consecutive Opening Series sweep. The Bucs won game one behind Landon Knack's (Johnson City, Tenn.) 11 K's over five innings and offensive production from Cade Gilbert (Ringgold, Ga.) who produced three RBIs with a 3-for-4 day. In game two, the offense dominated in a 15-1 win, led by three doubles from Jake Madole (Hampstead, N.C.), a career high. In the series finale, the Bucs came from behind in the ninth with a five-run inning capped off by a Kyle Richardson (Zionsville, Ind.) walk-off two-run home run to give ETSU a 9-7 victory.
Offensively the Bucs are hitting .317 through the first weekend and have 15 extra base-hits, including five homeruns. The Bucs tallied 26 free passes including 15 walks and 11 hit batters. On the mound, the Blue and Gold hold a 3.00 ERA and an opposing player batting average of .223.
ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH
Tech is still looking for their first win of the season after two losses last weekend at Baseball at the Beach hosted by Coastal Carolina. The Hokies had back to back 7-5 loses at the hands of San Diego State and UNCG on Friday and Saturday, respectfully. Their Sunday contest against Coastal Carolina was cancelled due to weather.
At 2-0, the Hokies are hitting .325 as a team with 25 hits in their 77 at bats. The Hokies are led offensively by Brennan Reback and Carson Taylor who are both hitting above .500 with five hits apiece. In their two games, the Hokies have used nine pitchers and hold a 5.29 ERA. Both starters for VT went five innings in their appearances, but just one walked away with the decision.
Last year, Tech had one of the most successful pitching seasons in program history since they joined the ACC 15 years ago. The 3.98 team ERA was the best in that period, and it was the lowest ERA for VT since 1984 (3.80).
Virginia Tech leads the all-time series 38-18 and has won the last two after sweeping the Bucs in last years’ home-and-home series. The Hokies have won eight of the last ten matchups between the two teams and are 23-7 at home.
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