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January 11, 2013

News & Notes

By: Jimmy Robertson

Former World Series champions headline “Baseball Night in Blacksburg”

Former Tech baseball standouts and former Major League Baseball World Series champions Franklin Stubbs and Brad Clontz will be the guests of honor for the Virginia Tech baseball program’s “Baseball Night in Blacksburg” on Feb. 8 in the West Side Stadium Club of Lane Stadium.

The event, which is sponsored by Bull and Bones Brewhaus and Grill, will be held from 6-9 p.m. Tickets cost $75 per person ($35 for kids 13 and under) and can be purchased by calling the Virginia Tech baseball office at (540) 231-3671. For those interested in a more intimate experience, a private, open-bar reception with Stubbs, Clontz and other notable figures will be held from 5-6 p.m. prior to the public portion of the evening. Access to the private reception can be gained by purchasing a ticket for $200. A Home Run Package of eight tickets can be purchased for $1,500.

In addition to a Q&A session with Stubbs and Clontz, the event will include a dinner catered by Bull and Bones, silent and live auctions for various professional sports and Virginia Tech items, and a chance to meet the entire Tech baseball team a week before the Hokies open their 2013 season in Wilmington, N.C.

Stubbs set nine school records while at Tech – two of which still stand – and became the Hokies’ first All-American with his selection as a sophomore in 1981. He was the first Tech player drafted in the first round of the spring draft – the 19th pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1982 – and became the first Hokie to win a World Series ring, winning one with the Dodgers in 1988 when they defeated Oakland, four games to one.

Clontz also left his mark in the Hokie record books, setting a school record with 12 wins on the mound in 130 innings pitched – both records still stand – in 1992. He parlayed that success into a 10th round selection in the draft by the Atlanta Braves that June. He’s one of three former Tech players to appear in at least two World Series (Johnny Oates, 3; Joe Saunders, 2) and became the second Hokie to win a World Series ring, helping the Braves to the 1995 title over Cleveland, four games to two.

All proceeds from the event will go to the Tech baseball program and the Hokies’ efforts to improve various aspects of their program.

McKinnon headlines scout-team testing

Virginia Tech’s freshmen who redshirted this past season and other scout-team members underwent strength and conditioning testing a few weeks before the bowl game, and Dahman McKinnon and Justus Hoffmann earned Super Iron Hokie honors, while Justin Taylor earned Iron Hokie honors.

McKinnon, a whip linebacker from Hope Mills, N.C., headlined the group. The 6-foot-1, 206-pound freshman recorded a 385-pound bench press, a 390-pound front squat and a 37-inch vertical jump. Hoffman, a 6-1, 284-pound redshirt freshman fullback from Raleigh, N.C., recorded a 420-pound bench press and a 405-pound front squat. Taylor, a 6-2, 257-pound redshirt freshman defensive end, recorded a 390-pound bench press and a 405-pound front squat.

McKinnon’s vertical jump was the best among those tested, and only Nick Acree’s 505-pound bench press was better than Hoffmann’s. Acree only tested in the bench press, as he continued to rehab from a torn ACL suffered in August.

Taylor, Hoffmann, freshman offensive linemen Adam Taraschke and Augie Conte and McKinnon recorded the top results in the front squat. Taraschke had a 400-pound front squat, while Conte recorded a 395-pound front squat. Conte also had a 370-pound bench press, while Taraschke registered a 360-pound bench press.

Tech and ODU agree to football series

Virginia Tech and Old Dominion have agreed to a three-game football series, starting in 2016 with a game in Blacksburg. This will be the first meeting between the two schools, as ODU only started fielding a team in 2009.

The Monarchs, who will be a full member of Conference USA for the 2015 season, will play in Blacksburg in 2016 and 2019. The Hokies will travel to Norfolk, Va., for a game with ODU in 2018.

The series continues the Hokies’ recent tradition of scheduling in-state programs. Tech has played Football Championship Subdivision foes James Madison (1999, 2003 and 2010) and William & Mary (2007) of late and has games scheduled with FCS foes Liberty (2016), William & Mary (2014 and 2018) and now ODU.

Tech’s Future Nonconference Schedules

2013 – Alabama (in Atlanta), Western Carolina, at ECU, and Marshall

2014 – William & Mary, ECU, at Ohio State, Western Michigan

2015 – Furman, at ECU, Ohio State, TBD

2016 – Wisconsin, ECU, Liberty, ODU

2017 – at Wisconsin, at ECU, TBD, TBD

2018 – William & Mary, ECU, at ODU, TBD

2019 – Charlotte, at ECU, ODU, TBD