Maryland baseball coach John Szefc is leaving for Virginia Tech

Maryland baseball coach John Szefc is leaving for Virginia Tech

Maryland’s John Szefc. (Bob Leverone/AP)

Maryland baseball coach John Szefc, who led the Terrapins back to national relevance after decades of dormancy, is leaving College Park to become the head coach at Virginia Tech.

Szefc, 49, was hired by the Hokies on Friday morning and will be relied upon to revive a program that hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 2013. Szefc will replace Pat Mason, who was fired last month after compiling a 90-126-1 record during his four seasons in Blacksburg.

“I’m thrilled, humbled and honored to begin this new challenge at Virginia Tech,” Szefc said in a statement. “As an opposing coach, I always enjoyed our visits to Virginia Tech and appreciated the beauty of the campus and the Blacksburg community. Our family is beyond excited to call Blacksburg our new home.”

Maryland will immediately begin a national search for Szefc’s replacement.

Maryland endured 31 consecutive losing seasons in the Atlantic Coast Conference before Szefc arrived in 2012 to replace Erik Bakich, who left to take the head coaching job at Michigan that spring. Szefc built an immediate winner. During his second season in 2014, Maryland won 40 games and made its first appearance in the NCAA tournament super regional. Maryland returned to the NCAA tournament in 2015, the program’s first back-to-back appearances since 1970-71, and finished with a school-record 42 wins and another trip to the super regional.

In all, Szefc won 180 games during his five seasons and led the Terrapins to three NCAA tournament appearances over the last four years, including this past season, when it finished 38-23. He reached 150 wins at Maryland faster than any other coach.

“John did a tremendous job taking Maryland baseball to new heights,” Director of Athletics Kevin Anderson said in a statement. “The foundation John laid helped put Maryland on the college baseball map. He created a winning culture that we could all be proud of.”

Szefc, who had received a raise to $251,000 annually after the 2015 season, will guide a Hokies program that will have an $18 million upgrade to its stadium facilities next season. Virginia Tech went 23-34 this season and has made the NCAA tournament just twice in the past seven seasons.

“The opportunity to return to the ACC and have our team play in an amazing baseball facility simply added to the appeal of coaching the Hokies,” Szefc said. “I understand and embrace the expectations that come with this leadership position.”

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Virginia Golf Team Makes Cut at NCAA’s: Plays 4th Round Monday

Virginia Golf Team Makes Cut at NCAA’s: Plays 4th Round Monday

Jimmy Stanger and coach Bowen Sargent

Senior Jimmy Stanger and Sophomore Thomas Walsh vaulted the Virginia golf team to the next stage of the NCAA Championship on Sunday. The duo shot a collective 9-under-par and helped the Cavaliers make the tournament’s first cut. Virginia sits in a tie for 7th headed into Monday’s fourth round.

The NCAA Golf Championship can be difficult to follow (and even more difficult to explain). The stroke play portion of the tournament started on Friday with 30 teams. The field was cut to 15 teams after Sunday’s third round. The field will be cut a second time — down to 8 teams — after Monday’s fourth round. The eight remaining teams will then take part in a match-play bracket to determine the champion.

Like I said…clear as mud.

Here’s a look at the current standings. Virginia won’t have much room for error if it hopes to advance to the final 8. UVA doesn’t need to gain any ground: it just needs to hold its current position. A number of teams are in striking distance.

The Hoos will certainly hope for more inspired play from Stanger and Walsh. Stanger, the 2017 ACC individual champion, reeled off four back-nine birdies on Sunday. He’s currently -7 overall and in 7th place as an individual. The NCAA individual title will be decided at the end of Monday’s 4th round.

As good as Stanger was, Walsh was actually a shot better. Walsh posted 7 birdies en route to a Sunday 67. His third-round performance was the best from a UVA player in the entire tournament. Walsh currently sits in a tie for 10th as an individual.

Virginia’s chances to advance would greatly benefit from a return to form from senior Derek Bard. The 2015 US Amateur finalist shot 5-over on Sunday after shooting 4-under on Saturday. Bard’s play on Monday might be the key for UVA to make it to match play.

Golf fans will be able to watch Monday’s round on The Golf Channel from 4-8 PM EST. You can also follow scores online at

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Wake Forest Basketball Recruiting Update

Wake Forest Basketball Recruiting Update

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest basketball has offered 2018 3-star forward Tyrese Samuel out of Riverdale Baptist in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Samuel is 6-8, 195 and holds offers from Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, East Carolina, Kansas State, Providence, Washington State, Southern Methodist, and Old Dominion.

The Deacs have also offered Will Richardson, a 4-star shooting guard from Hinesville, Georgia.

Richardson is a 6-4, 170 pound shooting guard out of Liberty County High School in Hinesville, Georgia.

He is ranked as the 54th best player by 247sports, the 8th best shooting guard, and the fourth best in the state of Georgia.

Richardson also holds offers from Clemson, Georgia Tech, Arizona State, Auburn, Butler, Iona, Rutgers, Tennessee, South Florida, Southern California, Virginia Commonwealth, and Wichita State.

Manning has also offered Jordan Lathon, a 3-star point guard out of Grandview, Missouri.

Lathon is 6-4, 175 out of Grandview High School. 247sports ranks him 169th nationally, 35th at the point guard position, and 5th in the state of Missouri.

He also holds offers from Virginia, Virginia Tech, Air Force, Colorado, DePaul, Florida Gulf Coast, Tulsa, Butler, Iowa State, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Wichita State.

Stay tuned to the site for more weekly recruiting updates as they come in.

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Stakes high as Wake Forest baseball travels to Florida State

Stakes high as Wake Forest baseball travels to Florida State

When you’re running in the fast company Wake Forest is keeping this ACC baseball season, one stumble will allow a team to run past you.

All that will be on coach Tom Walter’s mind as his 16th-ranked Deacons open a three-game series Friday at Florida State. Wake Forest enters the series in line for one of the top four seeds at the ACC Baseball Tournament, but needs to keep pace to stay ahead of fifth-place Virginia.

The Deacons, 35-15 overall, are currently fourth in the standings at 15-9 against ACC competition. The 10th-ranked Cavaliers, 36-11 overall, are one game behind at 14-10 going into this weekend’s home series against Miami.

“It’s a huge series with lots of implications,” Walter said by phone Wednesday night on the ride back from a 9-2 victory at Radford. “Obviously we want to stay in the top four in the league.

“Right now we’re ahead of Virginia, but if we lose this series we might not be ahead of Virginia.”

The new tournament format the ACC will introduce this season makes it that much more important for the Deacons to clinch one of the top four spots. The 12 teams that qualify will be assigned spots in one of four pools, depending on how they finish in the regular season. Although the winners of the two divisions will be assigned the top two seeds, remaining seeds will be determined by league record, regardless of division.

Wake Forest, which will close its regular-season conference schedule next week at home against Pittsburgh, could well end up in the same pool as Virginia as either a fourth or fifth seed. But should pool play with all three teams at 1-1, the higher-seeded team advances to the single-elimination semifinals.

And should the Deacons and Cavaliers close the regular season tied, the tie-breaker may well come down to how both did against Florida State.

Virginia, for the record, will close its regular-season conference schedule at Georgia Tech.

With his team all but assured its second straight bid to the NCAA Tournament, Walter has set his sights on the Deacons earning the right to play host to a regional for the first time since 2002. Winning two or three games this weekend at Florida State would definitely fortify the resume to be submitted to the NCAA Tournament selection committee.

“If we want an opportunity to host, this is one of those weekends the committee is going to look at,” Walter said. “We won a series at Miami, but we did not win a series against Louisville and Clemson, and we had chances to do that. In the (Louisville) series we won the Friday night game. And then at Louisville we had a lead late in the second game and had a chance to clinch the series there.

“So it would be a big statement for our program to go out against a perennial powerhouse and win a series on the road.”

Senior right-hander Parker Dunshee (8-1, 4.21) is scheduled to start for the Deacons on Friday, with sophomore right-hander Cole Sands (5-2, 4.98) scheduled to pitch for FSU.

On Saturday junior right-hander Donnie Sellers (3-4, 4.23 ERA) is scheduled to start for Wake Forest and sophomore left-hander Tyler Holton (6-2, 3.03) is scheduled to start for FSU.

Virginia edges Wake Forest to win 12th ACC title

Virginia edges Wake Forest to win 12th ACC title

UVa media relations

The No. 3 Virginia men’s tennis team captured the ACC Tournament title on Sunday with a thrilling 4-3 victory over No. 1 Wake Forest in Rome, Georgia.

Senior J.C. Aragone capped the Cavaliers’ victory on Court 5 by defeating Christian Seraphim, 7-6 (8), 4-6, 6-3.

Virginia, the reigning NCAA champion, snagged the doubles point for the early lead. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski and Alexander Ritschard earned a 6-3 victory on Court 2 over Alan Gadjiev and Borna Gojo. Collin Altamirano and Aragone then clinched the crucial point for Virginia by defeating Petros Chrysochos and Dennis Uspensky, 6-4 on Court 3.

No. 4 Chrysochos evened the score for the Deacons in singles play, earning a straight set victory over Ritshard, 6-2, 6-4. It wasn’t long before Virginia regained the lead thanks to No. 15 Kwiatkowski’s 6-4, 6-4 win over Borna Gojo at No. 2 singles.

No.13 Skander Mansouri tied the match for Wake, coming back to win the last two sets, 6-3, 6-2, after dropping the first 4-6 to freshman Carl Soderlund on Court 3, setting the stage for Aragone’s heroics.

Aragone’s match-clinching performance earned him Most Valuable Player honors. It was the second time he earned the honor after garnering the accolade during his sophomore season.

“The whole time I felt like it was going to come down to me and I kept telling myself, ‘Keep fighting. Keep fighting.’ [Seraphim] is a really tough guy to break. He’s amazing and I just had to keep my head down and keep serving,” Aragone said. “I was just trying everything in my power to leave it all out there and come out on top.”

The win marks Virginia’s 12th conference title and Boland has been at the helm for each of them. It also marked Boland’s last ACC championship with Virginia. He is set to become USTA Player Development’s head of men’s tennis after the completion of the 2017 season.

Virginia receives the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The complete NCAA Tournament field will be announced on Tuesday at 5 p.m. in a live-streaming selection show on NCAA Regionals begin on Friday, May 12 at host sites. The NCAA Round of 16 begins on Thursday, May 18 in Athens, Georgia.

Wake Forest Basketball Recruiting: 2018 Official Big Board, Analysis, and Updates

Wake Forest Basketball Recruiting: 2018 Official Big Board, Analysis, and Updates

Who are the top 2018 prospects that could end up in the Black and Gold?

The 2017 Wake Forest Demon Deacons basketball recruiting class is officially set in stone after 4* C Olivier Sarr signed his National Letter of Intent earlier this month for the Deacs. The class finished 36th in the overall 247sports Composite Team Rankings, a nice 25 spot jump from 2016 and just 4 spots below where the Collins, Crawford, and Moore trio ended up. Seeing Wake Forest’s recruiting class once again finishing around the likes of Michigan, West Virginia, and Indiana is welcome progress, but there is still room to improve given the program’s current momentum.

Fortunately, an NCAA tournament bid and a 3* –> 1st round draft pick story will do wonders for Danny Manning’s recruiting pitches in this upcoming cycle. So who are the potential targets you should be on the lookout for as we head into the always-exciting summer recruiting months? I’ve compiled a list of the Top 25 Wake Forest 2018 prospects you should know with some relevant information on each to make things easier. Let the speculating and analysis begin.

Below you will find the link to the Google Spreadsheet I created with all of the realistic targets for the 2018 recruiting class for Wake Forest. It does not include a few recruits who have been offered, but seemed to barely ever consider the Deacs (Spoiler alert: 5* Zion Williamson will sadly not be a member of the 2018 WF recruiting class no matter how often we dream or send kind tweets his way). The list compiles information regarding each recruit’s ranking, notable offers, last visit to campus, AAU team, and more. There is also a section labeled “Hype Level” that is particularly relevant to their overall recruitment to the Deacs. This individual section takes into account the following factors: 1) Wake Forest’s overall interest in the recruit 2) The recruit’s overall interest in Wake Forest and 3) Where the recruit stands in the overall recruiting process.

Prospects with a “High” rating were labeled that way because they have either been on campus numerous times, listed WF as one of their top schools recently, or analysts are predicting Wake Forest to be one of their leaders. Prospects with a “Medium” rating might have visited Wake Forest and shown strong interest, but updates are lacking as to how the situation currently is. Prospects with a “Low” rating are those that either have just been offered so it is too early to tell their interest or are very unlikely to end up at Wake given recent updates. In general, the “Hype Level” column is entirely related to how strong the mutual interest is between Wake and the prospect and thus how interested you should be in their recruitment. “High” level guys have a fairly decent shot at picking the Deacs, while “Low” level guys probably won’t even have Wake in their final lists. “Medium” guys will more likely than not move to one of the other levels as the cycle rolls on and the staff’s prioritization becomes clearer. The breakdown between “High”, “Medium” and “Low” recruits goes like this:

The spreadsheet also allows you to filter each column however you please. You can filter by Name, Rank, Offer Date, etc by simply hovering your mouse over the column letter and clicking the downward arrow. After selecting the downward arrow, you can select “Sort Sheet A-Z” or “Sort Sheet Z-A” to filter the database whichever way you want. Check it out for yourself after the bump:

After looking at the spreadsheet, there may be a few things that stand out at first glance. First and foremost, you can see just how North Carolina focused the staff’s recruiting strategy has been this cycle. 12 of the 25 names on this list play HS ball in North Carolina and live within a couple hours from campus. That’s even more NC based than in 2016 where it looked like Wake might pull its entire class from the Hoop State at one point.

Of course, there are clear benefits to this strategy, most notably being the amount of face time the coaches can get and the unofficial visit opportunities for each recruit. The obvious example in this year’s class is probably John Newman III, who just last week took his umpteenth visit to Wake after being offered by the staff in June 2016. His ability to come to numerous home games and be around the team constantly will be a major reason for his commitment if he does indeed end up in the Black and Gold. Of course, this strategy is only effective if the local area actually has solid talent, which is certainly the case in 2018.

The next thing you might notice about the spreadsheet is its intense weight towards wings over big men and Point Guards. 72% of the top 25 recruits on the big board play either the 2 or the 3 at the HS level. Even more astonishing is that of the three big men on the list, only 1 has been offered and landing McCormack looks incredibly doubtful with his recent interest from Blue Blood programs such as Kentucky, Duke, and Kansas. Wake will likely need a big man in the 2018 class given the fact it will only have Moore, Sarr, and Japhet-Mathias as post players at the end of next season.

It’s incredibly odd that Manning’s approach to Power Forwards and Centers has been far quieter than in past seasons on the surface at this stage in the cycle. Then again, the staff has landed foreign 4* bigs late in the recruiting season in each of the last two years (Sarr and SJM), and it’s quite possible they are going with a similar plan in 2018. One would think that Manning could use the rapid growth of John Collins over the last two years to convince virtually any 4* Power Forward to heavily consider Wake on the spot. Perhaps they are going to use the current month of AAU ball to evaluate their options and take it from there.

You’ll also notice that 7 players have their rows highlighted gold to stand out from the rest of the list. This is because these are the seven players who at this point look most likely to potentially become a Demon Deacon when it is all said and done. Let’s take a deeper look at each recruit and where they stand currently in the process.

2018 Prospects That Deserve Your Attention

Jaylen Hoard, 5* 6’8 SF from Wesleyan Christian Academy (NC)

Hoard might be the recruit you are most familiar with given his connection to 2017 commit and fellow Frenchman Olivier Sarr. Hoard and Sarr were teammates at the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championships and also met up in North Carolina during the latter’s official visit in February. The 6’7 forward transferred over to the US prior to his junior season and currently plays at Wesleyan Christian Academy, the same school Brandon Childress graduated from.

Scout ranks him as the #14 prospect in the entire 2018 class, which would make him the first 5* commit since Al Farouq Aminu in 2008. likes our chances at the moment given our early investment in his recruitment. The Sarr connection obviously can’t hurt either. More suitors will come in aggressively over the summer as he shines on the AAU circuit, but Wake looks like the leader right now and will do everything it can to stay there in the coming months. Expect a decision after his travels with the French National Team and Team CP3 conclude this summer.

Sharone Wright Jr., 4* 6’5 PG from West Florence (SC)

Wright Jr. has been one of the Deacs’ top Point Guard prospects for the better part of the last year now. The 6’5 guard from Florence, SC stated in an interview in the fall that Wake Forest was coming after him the hardest and that sentiment remained true in an interview last week with Phenom Hoops Report. In it he mentioned how he talked to the staff “all the time” and was looking to schedule an unofficial visit in the coming weeks to check out the campus.

While he’s listed as #199 on the 247 Composite, 247sports actually has him as a 4* recruit and a Top 130 player in the nation. His versatility and size at the Point Guard position would be extremely valuable for Danny Manning who wants players he can slot in at multiple positions. Expect an official decision from Wright between the end of the AAU season and beginning of the school year (Late July/Early August).

Drue Drinnon, 4* 5’11 PG from Pebblebrook (GA)

Drinnon is an agile 4* PG from Commerce, GA that Wake first offered back in June 2016. He mentioned to 247sports over the weekend that UGA, Georgia Tech, and WF were the three schools coming after him the hardest, which coincides with what he’s been saying for the last couple of months.

Personally, I think the local schools have a slight advantage here simply given how long they’ve been on him. UGA has been recruiting Drinnon since the 8th grade and Pastner was in contact with him back in his Memphis days as well. The one advantage Wake has over these programs is the most recent NCAA Tournament bid and the brand new Shah Basketball Complex in development. It will be a lot clearer where Wake stands in Drinnon’s recruitment at the end of the AAU season, as it still feels fairly early right now.

Isaiah Mucius, 4* 6’8 SF from St James (MD)

The momentum seems to be very much in the Deacs’ favor with the 6’8 wing from St. James in Maryland. Two Crystal Ball predictions for Wake Forest in the last 3 weeks is encouraging news as Danny Manning looks to add yet another consensus 4* recruit to his squad. Mucius is a long, athletic wing who can score efficiently around the rim and takes pride in his defensive effort. He’ll be able to defend multiple positions at the college level and his potential is about as high as anyone’s in the 2018 class.

Oregon, Rutgers, and Wake Forest were the 3 schools on him the hardest according to an article earlier this month, with the staff notably using Chaundee Brown as a part of their recruiting pitch. He’s looking for a family atmosphere at the next level and a place where he can get significant minutes as a freshman, either as a starter or bench player. Mucius is exactly the type of recruit Wake Forest should be going after heavily in this new era under Danny Manning; A smart, humble kid with excellent measures and the potential to be an All-Conference player after a few years in the ACC. Sign this kid up, Danny.

Nate Laszewski, 4* 6’7 SF from Northfield Mount Hermon (MA)

You don’t traditionally see Wake Forest heavily competing for high-level New England prospects given the sheer distance between the respective parties. The Big East, Big Ten, and northern ACC schools usually take care of that market, but there’s a chance Wake could steal a Top 150 New England prospect in the form a Nate Laszewski in 2018. Danny Manning offered the 6’7 SF back in early November, and brought him to campus for the Duke and NC State home games shortly thereafter.

The other visitors when the Deacs took on the Pack were arguably the Deacs’ top two 2019 prospects in 5*s Christian Brown and Wendell Moore, 4* 2018 SG John Newman, and 2017 commit Olivier Sarr. That sounds like a “high priority” group if you ask me. Laszewski’s strength is undoubtedly his outside shot, and from watching his highlights he looks like a whole lot like former NC State guard Maverick Rowan. His quick release and length would make him an asset from day 1 for the Deacs at the ACC level. Wake should be a contender in this one until the very end unless spots fill up before his decision.

Aaron Wiggins, 4* 6’6 SF from Wesleyan Christian Academy (NC)

Wiggins was noted by Scout as one of the standouts of the AAU weekend after dominating for Team CLT on the Under Armour tour. He averaged 23.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and shot 53% from 3 in NYC to earn himself probably a half dozen more offers by the time this week is over. Despite the intense competition, Wake has a few advantages in the chase for his signature due to the fact he is Jaylen Hoard’s teammate at Wesleyan Christian Academy and we’ve been intensely after him since the winter.

On Saturday, the 6’6 SF listed Wake, Maryland, and UVA as recruiting him the hardest, though the Terps are the only team with a Crystal Ball prediction. Wiggins excels at creating his own shot and can score efficiently from all three levels on the court, which is a player trait Wake Forest has lacked at times in recent years. If his HS teammate Hoard commits first, does Wiggins potentially follow suit? That is certainly an intriguing option to consider.

John Newman III, 4* 6’5 SG from Greensboro Day (NC)

I’m not sure there is a player in the 2018 class that has visited campus more times than John Newman III this cycle. The furthest back I could find evidence of a Newman visit was September 2015, and he’s been to Mother So Dear numerous times since then for games and unofficial visits. Originally a low 3* recruit, Newman is now listed as a 4* on 247’s rankings and the #27 SG in the country.

His defense has always been listed as one of his strengths, but he’s really developed his offensive game as well to become one of Team CP3’s best weapons on the AAU circuit. He averaged the 2nd most PPG on the team at the Hampton, VA event shooting 69% from the field, 83% from the line, and 67% from 3. Given Wake Forest was the second High Major program to offer and the significant interest appears mutual, I wouldn’t be surprised if Newman becomes the first commit of the 2018 class. His stock will continue to rise over the summer and there’s a great chance he’s the initial piece to a recruiting class that brings Wake Forest back into the Top 25 of the National Team Rankings.

Other Relevant Recruiting Info

Longtime target Devon Dotson Is Probably Headed Elsewhere

-4* PG Devon Dotson has been considered a top Wake target since the fall of 2015 prior to his breakout sophomore season with Providence Day. The staff was adamant in getting him on campus early and often, hosting him for plenty of games and visits throughout the last two seasons. However, as his profile increased due to exceptional play, so did his offers, with the likes of Kansas, Louisville, and Villanova all reaching out since July. Once considered the leader in his recruitment, Wake wasn’t even mentioned as a school coming after him the hardest in a recent update. This being said, there’s a very solid chance Danny Manning and the staff got the memo that Dotson had interests in going elsewhere and backed off. I listed him as a “Medium” Hype Level in the spreadsheet with the expectation of dropping that to a “Low” unless something dramatic happens later this month.

How Big Can This Class Really Be?

-With Dinos, Wilbekin, and “Grad Transfer to Be Named Later” all leaving after this year, Danny Manning will at least have 3 scholarships available for the 2018 class. Of course this doesn’t take into account the high probability that another spot opens up due to common attrition, the NBA draft, etc by April of next year. This being said, expect the staff to take 4 commits in this class with the most likely combination being 2 wings, 1 PG, and 1 PF/C. At this moment in time, that combination is most likely to be:

1 of Sharone Wright Jr/Drue Drinnon

2 of Jaylen Hoard/Isaiah Mucius/Aaron Wiggins/John Newman/Nate Laszewski

1 of a PF/C that is currently not on our radar.

Personally, if three of the five 4* wings want to commit I’d take all of them and figure out positions later. Yes, the team in 2018 might be slightly undersized, but you’d have arguably one of the best small ball lineups in the nation based on talent alone and the class would have the potential to finish in the Top 15 for the first time since 2007.

It’s also not totally out of the question for there to be 1 extra available scholarship given the rise of transfers in the college game and Bryant Crawford’s decision about his senior season being a factor. In this case, you go after one of the best grad transfer bigs on the market, promise him a starting role and 25+ mins a game, and solve your undersized issue right there. See, there is a way you can have your cake and eat it too! The cake also would taste like a Preseason Top 25 roster heading into Danny Manning’s 5th year at the helm. Yes please.

Thanks for reading everybody and be sure to stay tuned to Blogger So Dear for more recruiting updates as the AAU season continues to heat up. If you have any questions then feel free to comment down below, as this is a fluid situation. For more frequent Wake Forest recruiting news you can follow me on Twitter @DeacFan3. Go Deacs!

Hokies Seek Third Straight Acc Home Series Win Versus #12 Virginia

Hokies Seek Third Straight Acc Home Series Win Versus #12 Virginia

After taking series against Florida State, sweeping BC, Hokies have won five straight ACC home games

Virginia Tech Game Notes

The weekend series: The Hokies return home to the friendly confines of English Field at Union Park, where Tech has won eight of their last 10 and six of seven. The series will begin on Thursday with first pitch scheduled for 5:30 p.m., continue Friday with the same start time and conclude on Saturday with a first pitch slated for 1 p.m.
Follow us on our social media accounts – Twitter and Instagram – to see Hokie images, graphics and videos (pregame, ingame and postgame) all weekend long.

Virginia Tech vs. #12 Virginia
April 13-15, 2017

English Field at Union Park
Blacksburg, Virginia

Gameday Information
Thursday, April 13 – 5:30 p.m.

Friday, April 14 – 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 15 – 1 p.m.

Facing Virginia: In a series that dates back to 1900, the Cavaliers and Hokies have faced each other 181 times entering the weekend – which recently passed the rivalry with VMI (177 games). The series is 97-84 in favor of Virginia, but Tech is 45-32 overall at home and 17-13 at English Field at Union Park. Since 2012, the 15 games have been dominated by the home team, with Tech winning just once at UVa (March 9, 2012 – 10-8 in 11) and the Cavaliers winning just once in Blacksburg (April 26, 2013 – 15-6).

A five-game winning streak:As stated, UVa’s last win in Blacksburg was back in 2013, so the Hokies have won five straight over the Cavaliers at English Field at Union Park (April 27, 2013 – 5-3, 11-6 and March 13-15 – 2-1, 3-1, 6-5). That’s the Hokies’ longest winning streak at home over their in-state rival since a six-gamer from April 1990-April 1994, which is also tied for the longest win streak ever at home. Tech first set the record with a six-game home win streak over UVa from April 1979-April 1985.

Another five-game winning streak: With Tech’s three-game sweep of Boston College two weekends ago, it pushed the team’s home win streak in ACC games to five straight – the second longest home winning streak in a single season in ACC play. Back in 2010, the team won six straight home ACC games – #9 Miami (April 11, 4-2), BC (April 30-May 2, 9-4, 3-1, 10-5), Duke (May 14-15, 11-3, 18-8) – a season the Hokies went 11-4 at home. The longest win streak overall was a seven-game home winning streak in ACC games, when the 2013 squad won its last four (April 27 – 5-3, 11-6 over Virginia and May 16-17, 13-2, 5-3 against Wake Forest) and opened the 2014 season with a sweep of Pittsburgh (March 14-15, 11-5, 11-10, 11-7).

Winning three straight ACC home series: This weekend, the Hokies will be looking to do what only two other teams have done in the history of the ACC, win three straight home ACC series. The 2010 squad holds the record when that team won all five of its ACC home weekends, while the 2012 team won three in a row over BC, #6 Miami and Maryland). Only three other times have the Hokies won two home series in a row – 2009, 2013 and this season.

Tech stays in front, leads nation in home runs: The Hokies and Wake Forest have been battling back and forth recently for the nation’s lead in home runs. With its four hit Tuesday at Radford, Tech stayed in front of the Demon Deacons who also hit four versus Coastal Carolina the same night. The Hokies currently lead by one at 63-62, as Wake Forest did not hit a HR at Elon Wednesday night. Since the Hokies joined the ACC (2005), Tech has surpassed 40 home runs hit in a season six times and 50 just four times. Tuesday, they passed the 2011 team, who hit 60, and have their sights set on the most home runs hit by a Tech team in an ACC season set by the 2010 squad with 81.

Empowerment Academy Produces First Graduates

Empowerment Academy Produces First Graduates

Le’Kira Watson and Lydia Page became the first two graduates of the Lynchburg City Schools Empowerment Academy in a small ceremony at E.C. Glass High School on Friday night.

There was plenty of cake and smiles to go around as Watson turned the tassel in front of family, school staff and school board members on hand to support the graduating students. Unfortunately, Page was unable to attend but will have a Lynchburg City Schools diploma to call her own.

“I’m overwhelmed but overwhelmed with happiness,” Watson said after the ceremony.

She described graduation as her “first step toward adulthood” and added with a diploma in hand, her next step was to go on to college and that she was considering a career in cosmetology.

Watson credited the teachers at the Empowerment Academy for providing a happy, helpful learning environment where teachers provided her with individual attention in the classroom.

“They keep you very focused,” Watson said.

Prior to attending the Empowerment Academy, Watson had been a student at E.C. Glass.

The Empowerment Academy, in its first year, is an alternative program that targets sophomores, juniors and seniors who are behind in earned high school credits and helps them along a path to graduation. Unlike Fort Hill Community School, which serves students with behavioral issues, the focus of The Empowerment Academy is remediation for students behind on their path to graduation.

In its first year, The Empowerment Academy, at 601 12th St., has a 10-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. The small student population limited to 40 allows teachers to spend more time working with students on individual problems in class. The program also allows for flexible scheduling to help students with life issues outside of class to continue to work toward graduation through credit recovery.

“Our mission is every child, by name and by need, to graduation,” LCS Superintendent Scott Brabrand noted in his welcoming remarks. “Every child deserves to have their needs met, their names known, and a ceremony that honors the effort and the focus that they have made to get to the graduation stage.”

In remarks to an audience of about 20 people, Empowerment Academy Director Kacey Crabbe said “Le’Kira persevered every day,” and referred to Watson as “feisty and determined” about reaching graduation.

In a keynote address offered by Assistant City Manager John Hughes IV, he advised Watson to “never stop learning” and to take time to reach down and uplift others now that she had graduated.

Though Watson and Page are the first two students to graduate from The Empowerment Academy, Crabbe said she has 12 more students working toward a June graduation.

Man Uninjured After Pickup Overturns in Amherst County

Man Uninjured After Pickup Overturns in Amherst County

A Toyota pickup slid down an embankment and overturned just after 9 p.m. Thursday in rural Amherst County.

The male driver of the pickup swerved to avoid a deer, Virginia State Police Trooper Travis Lewis said, when he ran off Matohe Road less than one mile west of its intersection with Father Judge Road. The driver, who was wearing a seat belt, walked away from the incident without injury, Lewis said.

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