2021 Baseball Season Stuff

Decided to do a thread instead of a new one for each game.

Anyway, the team has dropped the first two games in their series this weekend to Pitt.

Saturday they lost to Pitt 2 to 1. Pitt’s starting pitcher threw a 3 hit complete game. Despite the score, you never had a feeling that our offense was a threat to win the game.

Today they lost 6 to 2. More of the same really but the hitting was a bit better. We had a handful of doubles that were just foul, a lot of line drives right to people, and Devin Ortiz did hit a home run. It’s not much but we’re at the point with this offense where any sign of life looks good in the moment.

Pitt is going for the sweep at 2 tomorrow (Monday). We have a quick turnaround with a trip to Liberty on Tuesday.

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Wow. Ouch. The baseball team really came into the season with high expectations, too.

Was there coaching turnover in the off-season?

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The bats are not flying this season woof.

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No coaching changes this past offseason.

We’ve only had one staff change (of the 2 paid assistants - you only get 2 in baseball but there are volunteers and an analyst) during O’Connor’s tenure.

That happened in August 2019 when Pitching Coach Karl Kuhn took the head job at Radford when it unexpectedly opened late. We replaced Kuhn with the Pitching Coach from Illinois, Drew Dickinson. He’s done a nice job in his short tenue.

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Thanks for the response. I couldn’t remember if there’d been any changes lately, but I was thinking if we’d just gotten a new hitting coach then it might be wise to look in a different direction.

Coach Mac (Kevin McMullan) is highly regarded in the profession and is our lead recruiter. But the results to date this season do make you wonder if it’s time for him to run his own program too. Or is this season an anomaly? The same hitters last year were really, really good. But prior to that we had a couple light hitting seasons (not this poor) due to some injuries or light talent on the roster.

We let Kuhn work through some declining seasons of effectiveness but it’s widely accepted that he was encouraged to find a head coaching position while it was still viable.

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We won an ACC baseball game today and convincingly at that!

Fell behind to Pitt 1 to 0. Then bounced back to surge to a 4 to 1 lead. An error let Pitt get the lead down to 4 to 3 and they scratched across another run to tie it at 4.

Then we responded like you’d want to see and ran away with a 10 to 4 win.

Devin Ortiz hit his second homer of the season which gives him homers in back to back games.

We play at Liberty on Wednesday. They have two midweek wins over UNC this season although it can be difficult to read into those results without having watched the game to see how either team played it. Midweek games can be a little screwy depending on how each coach plays the lineups and the pitching strategies. I expect both teams will be playing to win without much gamesmanship on Wednesday.

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Baseball hits the road for a game at Liberty at 4 today.

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Miami is visiting this weekend.

The momentum from Monday’s win over Pitt was wasted at Liberty on Wednesday. So it’s back to square one.

The Hoos switched up the Friday and Saturday pitchers for this one with McGarry going on Friday and Abbott on Saturday.

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Another character building weekend on the baseball field.

Lost 2 of 3 versus Miami.

Lost Friday 8 to 6 after holding an early 2 to 0 lead. Miami scored 5 in the 6th inning to take control of the game. The Hoos scored 2 in the 7th to cut the lead to 5 to 4 and grab some momentum. But Miami responded with 3 more in the 8th to get to 8 to 4. The Hoos got 1 run in the 8th and 9th to fight back but couldn’t get over the hump yet again.

Saturday was a 4 to 0 win. Andrew Abbott was a stud in this one going 8 innings. The Hoos were credited with just 1 hit, but that hit produced 4 runs. Devin Ortiz hit a bases loaded triple off the wall in left center and then was awarded home when Miami threw the ball into our dugout trying to get him out at third. There were a couple other “hits” that were ruled errors against Miami that were debatable including one that was initially ruled a hit but changed to an error two innings later. So much for home field advantage. A win is a win, especially for this team in ACC play.

Sunday was a classic back and forth game that saw Miami make the last move. They won the game 4 to 2 and took the series. This one was especially frustrating as UVA had runners on 2nd & 3rd with 1 out late in the game but couldn’t deliver as has become the norm at the plate, unfortunately.

The Hoos visit a poor George Washington team on Tuesday. UVA beat them 11 to 1 at UVA earlier this season. That should be a win. No fans are allowed even though the game is being played in Arlington. GW had to reach a deal with DC in order to even play their season that stipulated no fans at games even if their home games were played in VA, DC, or MD.

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Baseball is at George Washington today. Game is at 3 on ESPN +.

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Hoos picked up a 7 to 2 win today.

Game was tied at 1 after 7. Then the offense broke things open in the 8th (4 runs) and 9th (2 runs). GW got a meaningless run in the bottom of the 9th.

Some newer faces got a run today in the starting lineup, so that was nice to see. OF Addie Burrow got his first career hit in his second career game. It drove in a run in as well. He’s one that probably deserves some more opportunities going forward.

Next up is three games in Atlanta. That’s going to be a challenge. Because of Easter, the series will run Thursday - Saturday.

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Three game series against Georgia Tech begins today in Atlanta.

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Would be hilarious if this is the series we pulled it together

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Baseball has split the first two games in the GT series.

On Thursday, they fell behind 6 to 0 and made a late rally in the 8th and 9th innings to cut it to 6 to 5. They got the tying run to 3rd in the 9th with 2 outs but couldn’t bring it home.

They rolled Georgia Tech 8 to 2 tonight. Andrew Abbott was a grown man again and Nic Kent hit a grand slam to break the game open (score was 1 to 0 UVA at the time).

Series will be decided at 1:00 tomorrow.

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Edit: this was vulgar.

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We won an ACC series! And it was on the road. And against a team ranked as high as 6th nationally!

Saturday’s 11 to 4 win over Georgia Tech was just what the entire baseball program needed, including the fans. The team yesterday was what we were expecting this year. Timely hits, a couple homers (expecting that every game is a bridge too far for us), putting pressure on the opposing defense, and timely pitching.

Makes you wonder if a run is on the horizon.

Up next is a visit from William & Mary on Tuesday.

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Do you think there’s still time to salvage the season?

There’s definitely time. I’m not sure they could have waited much longer. From now on, it needs to be all systems go - winning series and midweek games. Don’t have to go undefeated but weekend sweeps won’t hurt.

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Honestly, I don’t get why the college World Series isn’t a bigger deal. It’s exactly as cool and exciting as the basketball NCAA tournament, except that it takes longer.

The difference between the two feels like the delta between how basketball in general has spent the last 30 years crushing its marketing while baseball in general has been totally failing.