Friday, May 9, 2008

Weekend News and Notes: May 9

Here's what's happening around Gobbler Country for May 9-11:


The Hokies continue play at the ACC Tournament in College Park, Md. Tech beat Maryland, 7-4, in the first round Thursday. The Hokies face FSU Friday at 12:30 p.m. If they win, they don't play again until 11 a.m. Saturday. A loss means they have to win four games in three days to win the ACC Tournament. That road would begin at 8 tonight against BC, who eliminated Maryland late Thursday.

Angela Tincher was named ACC Pitcher of the Year for the third consecutive season. She and 3B Charisse Mariconda were named to the All-ACC first team. C Kelsey Hoffman and OF Jenna Rhodes were named second-team All-ACC.

UPDATE: The Hokies successfully defended their ACC title by beating NC State, 2-0, Sunday to claim the 2008 ACC Championship. The tournament was shortened to single-elimination after heavy rains in the College Park area Friday. Tincher was named the tournament MVP after no-hitting FSU in the semifinals and shutting out NC State in the title game. The NCAA Tournament Selection Show is 10 p.m. Sunday on ESPNU and ESPNEWS.


Tech plays host to a three-game series against No. 1 Miami. The Hokies and 'Canes meet at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday at English Field.

The Hokies are 0-9 all-time against the 'Canes and will be hard-pressed to earn their first victory over Miami this weekend. Miami is 20-2 in ACC play, with losses to Florida State and NC State.

The 'Cane hitters have scored 208 runs and hit 40 home runs in 22 ACC games and will face a Tech pitching staff that has is 4-20, 6.73 in ACC play. 1B Yonder Alonso is hitting .358 with 10 home runs and 27 RBIs against ACC opponents.

UPDATE: The Hokies shocked the Hurricanes in game two of the series, beating them, 7-6, in game one of a doubleheader Saturday. Tech trailed, 5-1, after four, but scored three in the seventh to tie the game at six and scored the winning run in the eighth on a double by Austin Wates. Justin Wright pitched a complete game for the Hokies to improve to 3-0 this season. Klint Reed was 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs to pace Tech offensively. Miami took the other two games of the three-game series.


The No. 30 Hokies begin NCAA Tournament play at 2 p.m. Saturday in Knoxville, Tenn., against No. 37 Kentucky. If the Hokies advance, they would play at 2 p.m. Sunday. No. 8 Tennessee and Furman are the other two teams in Tech's regional.

Kentucky boasts the No. 20 singles player in NCAA, Bruno Agostinelli, from Niagra Falls, Canada. He is 22-13 this season and is the likely opponent for Tech's No. 1 player, Albert Larregola, from Lleida, Spain. Larregola is 27-14 this season and has already secured a spot in the NCAA singles competition, set for May 21-26 in Tulsa, Okla.

This is Tech's second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Hokies fell to Old Dominion in the first round last season, 4-3.

UPDATE: Tech beat Kentucky, 4-0 in the first round Saturday and fell, 4-0, to Tennessee in the second round Sunday.

Former Hokies

Patrick Nyarko (Soccer): Nyarko is currently on the MLS Chicago Fire's reserve team. The Fire reserves play at 10 a.m. Friday at D.C. United. He started in both of the previous two Fire reserve games, once as a midfielder and once as a forward. He scored the Fire reserves' lone goal in their previous game April 20 against Kansas City.

UPDATE: Nyarko had an assist in Chicago's 2-0 win in the reserve match. He now has a goal and an assist in three reserve matches this season.

Joe Saunders (Baseball): The former Hokie pitcher has had an incredible start to the 2008 campaign. He is 6-0, 2.61 in seven starts this season. He takes the mound at 7:10 p.m. Saturday at Tampa Bay opposite the Rays' Scott Kazmir. Saunders was shaky in his previous start, May 4 against the Orioles. He gave up four runs on 12 hits, but earned the win. The Springfield, Va., native is tied for the AL lead in wins with teammate Ervin Santana, the Yankees' Chein-Ming Wang and the Indians' Cliff Lee. He is eighth in the AL in ERA.

UPDATE: Saunders took his first loss of the season in the Angels' 2-0 loss to Tampa Bay Saturday. Saunders gave up a run on four hits, all singles, walked four and struck out three in 6.0 innings. He is now 6-1, 2.48. The Rays loaded the bases with one out in the first inning off Saunders and scored their lone run off him on a ground out by Evan Longoria. Saunders would not allow another runner past first base. The Angels had a chance to get a no-decision for Saunders in the eighth when they loaded the bases with one out. However, neither Torii Hunter nor Garrett Anderson could get the ball out of the infield to end the threat.

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