Hope you all had a joyful Mother’s Day. I spent part of my Mother’s Day covering the Hawks’ Game 4 win over Chicago, which is why this will be on the shorter side. This has nothing to do with the game, but I was told by a colleague that Paul Hewitt and Bobby Cremins were both at the game and may have even struck up a conversation about playing each other next season. So there’s your Tech angle. Also, I saw Duane Ferrell, the former Tech star who now works for the Hawks as their player relations and programs manager.
Anyway, a short update on baseball and softball and I think that’ll be it.
1. The baseball team won its first two games against UIC Saturday and Sunday, 9-2 and 10-2. The Jackets finish up the series Monday and are now 33-14. Tech has hit .342 in the first two games, cranking out 27 hits. I’m not sure what this means, but 25 of the hits were singles and the other two were doubles. Coach Danny Hall reported that the wind was blowing in and that two flyouts Sunday would have been home runs at Russ Chandler Stadium.
“I’m fine with it,” Hall said by phone from the team bus leaving Les Miller Field.
(This would be a good time to read the story I wrote last week about the changes in the bats causing a decline in offense this season).
Anyway, I’m not sure what you can draw from going to town on the pitching of an inferior opponent, but it’s regardless an improvement from last weekend, when the Jackets hit .168 in dropping two of three against Clemson.
“It’s all relative,” Hall said by phone. “But we’ve had much better swings.”
Even though it was finals week at Tech, Hall was glad for the practice time that the team got without having a mid-week game. It’s the first time all season that the Jackets didn’t have a mid-week game, giving them a rare three consecutive days of practice. Hall said a big emphasis was on shortening swings. In their simulation games, for instance, players who hit lazy fly balls had to run.
“We’re doing a better job of putting the ball in play,” he said.
Mark Pope got his 10th win Friday with one earned run in six innings. Jed Bradley gave up two runs on five hits in six innings Sunday to improve to 6-2.
If you’re wondering, the series held Tech’s estimated RPI at No. 8.
Tech finishes with Savannah State at home Tuesday, North Carolina at home this weekend, ETSU next Tuesday and then the final series of the regular season at Virginia Tech.
2. The softball team took two of three from Florida State to close out its regular season at home. Shortstop Kelsi Weseman continued her form. In three games, she was 7-for-10 with two doubles, a triple, two home runs and nine RBI.
The Jackets extended their ACC record with their 24th consecutive series win. Ranked No. 17, Tech is now 44-9.
Kristen Adkins and Lindsey Anderson were the winning pitchers Saturday. The loss Sunday ended a 10-game winning streak for Tech.
The Jackets will enter the ACC tournament, being held at Mewborn Field, as the No. 1 seed. The Jackets will play No. 8 Virginia Friday at 5 p.m. If they win, they would play the Florida State-Virginia Tech winner Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The championship game on Sunday is at 1 p.m.
3. One short note. The golf team will learn which NCAA regional tournament it will be sent to Monday around 6 p.m. Tech will almost certainly receive a No. 1 seed.