Three weeks into the ACC schedule, the Coastal Division is shaping up to be to-the-finish race that could be comprise of just about every team involved.
After winning two-of-three against Wake Forest, the Miami Hurricanes find themselves at the top of the division with a 6-3 conference record. The next five teams behind Miami are all within two games of putting themselves in a tie and the Virginia Cavaliers – last year’s runner-up – is sitting in last place.
One of those teams that have to be considered a surprised to be as involved as they are is the Virginia Tech Hokies. Currently with a 5-4 record in conference play, the Hokies are in a three-way tie for second place along with North Carolina and Georgia Tech.
All though they have lost two-of-three series in conference play, a sweep of the Cavaliers have bumped the Hokies up the conference standings, and made a statement that the team isn’t one that is going to be pushed over easily.
The main reason behind their success has been the staff’s ace, Sean Keselica. A two-way player his entire career in Blacksburg, the senior has really excelled on the mound this year and has won his last three decisions.
After allowing two earned runs in his first start against Mercer, Keselica has only surrounded five earned runs in his five starts since – all five coming in his start against Wake Forest.
He picked up his first win of the season against Toledo, pitching seven shutout innings while only allowing six hits and striking out four batters.
The past 17 innings that the Glenn Gardner, New Jersey native has thrown has really put his name out there however. After throwing a complete game, one-unearned outing against the then top ranked Virginia Cavaliers, Keselica earned the ACC pitcher of the week award.
He followed up that performance with an outing that saw him throw eight shutout innings where he only allowed four hits and struck out nine batters. Unfortunately, Clemson’s starter Matthew Crownover was just as much up to the competition, holding the Hokies to a zero before the Tigers eventually won the game 4-0 in extra innings.
Out of all the teams in the Coastal Division, the Hokies have only played the Cavaliers, so there still is a long road ahead of them to remain at the top of the league.
If Virginia Tech are going to remain contenders, it will fall on the arm of Keselica, who has been able to hold his own against two of the best in the ACC (one of which is expected to be drafted in the top ten at the upcoming draft), so there is no doubting that he has the capability of doing so.