A Fan of the Game

Sports Talk, Straight Talk

Virginia Tech sweeps first 4 games of season

PUBLISHED Feb. 23, 2009

The Hokies opened their 2009 season by winning all four games this weekend in the Courtyard by Marriott Classic, held in Spartanburg, S.C.

The team scored 10 or more runs in each game, outscoring its opponents 57-19.

The first game, against UNC Asheville, ended in a 21-4 blowout. After allowing a run, Tech plowed through the Bulldogs’ pitching staff, which used six pitchers.

Junior college transfer Steve Domecus was hit by three pitches during the game and still went 2-for-4, driving in three and hitting a home run.

Senior standout Rhett Ballard pitched five solid innings where he struck out nine batters.

The second day of the Classic was a double-header against Wofford. Tech won 14-10 in the first game and 10-2 the second.

Junior catcher Anthony Sosnoskie hit two home runs and junior outfielder Steve Bumbry hit one in the first game.

Sosnoskie wasn’t done, belting another home run in the second game.

The final game was a 12-3 win over USC Upstate. Sean Ryan went 4-for-5 with three runs in the finale.

Sosnoskie won most valuable player honors for the event, batting .643, with three homers, two doubles and seven runs batted in.

The Hokies’ home opener comes against East Tennessee State, Tuesday at 3 p.m., on English Field.

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March 1, 2009 Posted by | Baseball | , , | Leave a comment

Virginia Tech Baseball Outfield

PUBLISHED Feb. 19, 2009

The Hokie outfield has depth that maybe no other Tech team has seen in its past. It’s something head coach Pete Hughes thinks is a vital component to be competitive in the ACC.

“(This is) the most competitive position on our team,” Hughes said. “They’re (players) fighting for their life out there. There are six guys who can start for us.”

One thing that comes with depth is the fierce competition. Throughout the offseason, practices have been hard-fought by all the players.

“We’re going to be more competitive,” Hughes said, “Because every single practice and every single day those guys are fighting to get the edge over each other. That’s what great programs do. They have competition every single day.”

The six players competing are Klint Reed, Sean Ryan, Steve Bumbry, Steve Domecus, Mike Kaminski and Buddy Sosnoskie.

One thing they all share is good defense, another thing Hughes said is necessary to win games.

“First and foremost, we have to be able to defend, in this league, in the outfield,” he said.

Ryan had a .992 fielding percentage last year and is considered to be one of the best defenders in the ACC.

Bumbry fielded at a .985 clip in 2008. Both only committed one error over the course of the entire year.

Of course, defense doesn’t put runs on the board. Ryan has shown he is just as good offensively as he is out in the field.

Ryan batted over .300 last year despite an injured hip, which means — when healthy — there could be even more production out of the senior.

Bumbry was inconsistent last season, something Hughes said changed over the offseason, especially with his good showing in the intersquad Fall World Series.

Two junior college players, Domecus and Kaminski, bring much needed leadership to the team.

Domecus can play catcher as well, giving depth for that position. Hughes described Domecus as high-energy and meeting his leadership, maturity and productivity requirement for junior college players.

Hughes is also high on Kaminski.

“Mike brings power and speed to the table,” Hughes said. “He has power potential, and he is a very good defender in the outfield.”

Rounding out the six players are Reed and Sosnoskie. Reed touts a .976 fielding percentage. He batted .287 last season with 27 runs batted-in.

Sosnoskie was redshirted as a freshman because of a shoulder injury but can now play outfield and first base. Hughes expects him to be a great candidate for the very important leadoff spot.

March 1, 2009 Posted by | Baseball | , , , , , | Leave a comment

And It All Comes Down To This…

With the summer coming to an end and all the hype about the upcoming fall lineup, let’s not forget about what baseball fans consider to be the best time of the year. On September 1st, teams across the MLB will call up young prospects and players who they feel will help their push for the pennant, as the rosters increase from 25 players to 40 players. With all but one division up for grabs, who knows what the month of September could entail for the avid baseball fans.

In April, no one could have predicted that on August 26th the Rays would be leading the AL East and that the Marlins would be only 5.5 games out of first place in the NL East. With the Rays being lead by a mix of young up and coming athletes and those veterans that have stuck around while there were more players on the field than fans in the stadium, and the Marlins, who after losing Miguel Cabrera were basically overlooked by everyone at the beginning of the season, the state of Florida as witnessed one of the most improbable summers. The Rays are second in power rankings and have won more games this season than any season before, and the closer we get to October, it looks like Tropicana Field is going to be able to host its first playoff game in team history. The Marlins are being lead by the left side of their infield. Jorge Cantu, replacing the departed Miguel Cabrera, and Hanley Ramirez, who together have 50 home runs and are both batting close to .300 on the season, have led the Marlins just 5.5 games back of the East leading Mets. With 6 games left (3 home, 3 away) with both the Mets and the Phillies, the next 5 weeks are gonna be of much importance to the Marlins. A series sweep to either team, and you can possibly count the Marlins out.

The one question that remains to be asked is if the title is coming back to Chicago. Both teams currently lead their respecitive divisons, and right now the Chicago Cubs are the front runners in the National League. Having won 8 straight series, and the Brewers and the Cardinals meeting up in St. Louis this week, the Cubs have a good chance of extending their division leading record over both the Brewers and the Cards. The Chicago White Sox are locked in a battle with the Minnesota Twins. The White Sox need to take advantage of the Twins extended road trip, the longest in some 39 years. The White Sox need to win as many games now because starting on September 15th, the White Sox head for a 10 game roadtrip, which include their last stop at Yankee Stadium for a four game series, and a quick stop inside the Metrodome, with a series with the Royals in between. Saying both Chicago teams are going to make it into October is a stretch, but odds are, at least one of them will.

Out west, the Angels have their division wrapped up. All three teams in their division, are over 15 games out of first place, and with their pickup of Mark Teixiera, its safe to say the Angels are in the playoffs. The Dbacks and the Dodgers have been flip-flopping back and forth all season long. The Dbacks picked up Adam Dunn and the Dodgers picked up Manny Ramirez, so expect both teams to be competing long into September.

Sports fans, its time to sit back and relax as we are getting ready to hit the most exciting time of the MLB season. Lets see if the Rays can hold onto their division lead, and get used to hearing Steve Goodman’s “Go Cubs Go” because simply, the Cubs are unbeatable at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, and are basically a lock to be playing late into October.

-Nathan

August 26, 2008 Posted by | Baseball | , , , , , , | Leave a comment