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No. 4 Virginia Tech baseball team set for first NCAA Regional since 2013

Virginia Tech opens regional play against Wright State at English Field on Friday at 7 p.m.
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 6:48 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - The No. 4 Hokies baseball team is back in an NCAA Regional for the first time since 2013, the only other time Tech hosted in Blacksburg.

While there isn’t much postseason experience on the roster, head coach John Szefc has coached teams to seven combined regionals at Marist and Maryland.

Now, he’s sharing the lessons he learned there with his team at Virginia Tech.

“My message to our guys yesterday was you don’t really have to do anything more than you’ve already done,” said Szefc at Thursday’s media availability. “You don’t have to throw a better slider, or hit a ball harder, or run faster. I don’t think we’re going to see anything in this regional that we haven’t seen in the ACC over the course of 10 weeks. We’ve played some really good people, I think, and that’s why we’re sitting here in Blacksburg as opposed to being someplace else.”

The Hokies boast a relentless lineup that led the ACC with 66 home runs in conference play - 12 more than any other team.

Sophomore catcher Cade Hunter, second on the Hokies with 15 dingers, has helped add to the power surge after COVID-19 and a broken hand derailed his first two seasons at Tech.

“I’ve been smelling the roses ever since the first game,” said Hunter. “After going down last year, it was really hard to watch, especially how the back end of the year ended up. But, for me, I’ve just been grateful, just being able to go out there and do what I do with a bunch of guys I enjoy playing with. The offensive side of the ball is great, but I really pride myself on being there for my pitchers and that’s always been my main focus, and the offense is just icing on the cake.”

Littered around English Field this week are reminders that this was no ordinary season in Blacksburg. But the regular-season ACC champs say they’ve worked too hard to rest on what’s already been accomplished, with so much left to achieve.

“We worked so hard for this through the whole year and we love each other as teammates, and if we want to continue to play together, that means we gotta’ win,” said sophomore center fielder Gavin Cross. “So, it’s whatever we can do to win and we’re going to try to do that as long as we can with each other”

Virginia Tech opens regional play against Wright State at English Field on Friday at 7 p.m.

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