Former Blue Demon pitcher Brady Kirtner and former Radford University hurler Graham Firoved will be among the new faces as the Virginia Tech baseball program will officially start its 2020 fall season with individual workouts Monday at English Field at Atlantic Union Bank Park.
Team practice opens on Sept. 10.
The newest members include five transfers and 16 freshmen. They come from all parts of the country, representing nine different states with the largest contingent coming from Virginia (9), followed by North Carolina and Pennsylvania with three each. There is one player each from Colorado, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Pitching makes up more than half of the newcomers with 11 joining the program, seven righties and four southpaws, while there are four infielders, four outfielders and two catchers.
Kirtner earned three varsity letters playing for Coach Dale Nelson at Christiansburg. As a junior in 2019, he posted an 8-1 record with a 1.56 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 58 innings with a 1.08 WHIP. Opponents batted just .152 against him. He earned All-Timesland, all-district and all-region pitcher of the year honors for those efforts.
Kirtner attended the WWBA Perfect Game showcase in Jupiter, Fla., in the fall of 2019 and was a second team all-conference pitcher as a sophomore.
In 2019, at Radford University, Firoved appeared in 16 games with one start. He had a 3.18 ERA in 22.2 innings of work, struck out 27 batters, walked 13 and posted a 1-0 record with one save. In nine relief appearances, he did not allow an earned run. Against Gardner-Webb, he struck out the side in the seventh and eighth innings.
In 2020 at Northwest Florida State, Firoved appeared in three games during the shortened season with a 10.38 ERA in 4.1 innings pitched with nine strikeouts, three walks and a 0-1 record.
Other new members of the Hokie squad this fall include the following:
Griffin Green, Chelmsford, Mass.
In high school, he earned three varsity letters playing for Coach Michael O’Keefe at Chelmsford High School. He was ranked as the No. 15 player in the region’s 2020 senior class by Prep Baseball Report. He was a senior captain and helped the Lions advance to the Division 1 North semifinals in 2019 and was named a league all-star as a junior. He was also on the golf team, earning three varsity letters, and was a three-time league all-star and a senior captain. He graduated from Chelmsford before spending the 2019-20 school year as
a postgraduate student at Phillips Andover.
Jenner Kehe, Golden, Colo.
Kehe earned three varsity letters playing for Coach Derrick Peterson at Lakewood High School. He was a first-team all-conference pitcher and an all-state honorable mention for the Tigers. He was ranked a top-three player in Colorado and earned Lakewood’s Don Osse Athletic Award.
Kyle McKernan, Waxhaw, N.C.
He earned three varsity letters playing for coach Trey Putman at Marvin Ridge. McKernan was named the Southern Carolina Conference Pitcher of the Year and was a first team all-conference member. He also earned all-state first-team honors and was the Greater Charlotte Pitcher of the Year. In 2019, he was selected as a high school Cy Young Winner after leading Union County in wins (10-1) while striking out 85 hitters to go along with a 1.61 ERA. He helped the Mavericks to a 26-8 record and played one season for the Mavericks basketball team.
Jackson Ritchey, Huntingdon, Penn.
Ritchey earned varsity letters for three seasons at Huntingdon Area under Coach Butch Woodward. He was a shortstop and pitched for the Bearcats as they won two district titles and one league title and advanced to the state semifinals in 2018. His best game was a seven-inning, one-hitter with two walks and 15 strikeouts. He also lettered four years for the basketball team and the golf program, scoring more than 1,100 points in his career as a forward on the hardwood, including a career-high 35-point effort.
Christian Worley, Alton, Va.
Worley earned three varsity letters while playing for Coach Kenneth Day at Halifax. He was a pitcher and shortstop for the Comets. He helped Halifax to the Class 5 state semifinals in 2019. On March 20, 2019, he threw a no-hitter against Dan River, striking out 16 and walking just two batters. Worley helped the Comets advance to the 2018 Class 5 state quarterfinals while earning two wins on the mound with a 1.16 ERA. He also earned a pair of varsity letters while swimming for Coach Shawn Torian.