Heading into Independence Day weekend, the Virginia Tech baseball team is celebrating its most decorated All-American class in the program’s history as four Hokies have combined to garner 13 such honors for their outstanding diamond performances during the 2022 season.
Sophomore shortstop Tanner Schobel led Tech’s national year-end honorees with six All-American mentions while sophomore outfielder Jack Hurley collected four All-American nods. Freshman starting pitcher Drue Hackenberg was named to two All-American teams while third-year sophomore outfielder Gavin Cross earned one All-American selection, placing onto Perfect Game’s First Team.
With four national standouts, Tech’s 2022 All-American class marks its largest such class all-time, doubling the size of its two-player classes in 1982, 1996, 1999, 2003, and 2020. Additionally, Cross becomes the Hokies’ first All-American first-team selection since 2003 (Matt Dalton) and the program’s first such position player since 1986 (George Canale).
Among Schobel’s six All-American titles, the All-ACC First Team shortstop was twice named to the Second Team (ABCA/Rawlings, NCBWA) while showing up on four third-team lineups (Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, D1Baseball, Perfect Game). The draft-eligible sophomore set Tech’s ACC-era records for both RBIs (74) and home runs (19), achieving the program’s highest marks in both categories since 1986 (Trey McCoy) and 1996 (Kevin Barker), respectively.
Starting each of the Hokies’ 59 games, Schobel batted .362 (85 hits, 18 doubles), slugged .689, scored 68 runs, stole seven bases, and helped turn 36 double plays (.954 fielding percentage). He was also tabbed as one of six national finalists for the 2022 Brooks Wallace Award (presented annually to the nation’s best collegiate shortstop), was named a national semifinalist for both the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Trophy, garnered ABCA/Rawlings Atlantic All-Region First Team praise and was lauded on the VaSID All-State First Team.
Scoring four All-American mentions, Hurley accompanied Schobel on the NCBWA Second Team while collecting third-team consideration from three outlets (ABCA/Rawlings, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, Perfect Game). The All-ACC First Team outfielder led all NCAA Division I players in batting average as late as April 7 (.464), finishing with a .375 mark that yielded 87 hits, 23 doubles, a triple, and 14 home runs (.664 slugging percentage).
Arguably the toughest out in Tech’s offense, Hurley posted the Hokies’ best on-base percentage (.452), swiping 10 bases on his way to scoring 59 runs while accounting for 55 RBIs. An invitee to USA Baseball’s 2022 Collegiate National Team training camp, he was named a national semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, earned ABCA/Rawlings Atlantic All-Region First Team distinction, sported VaSID All-State First Team honors and placed onto the All-ACC Academic Team.
A breakout rookie, Hackenberg came away with a pair of All-American third-team selections, as so named by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and the NCBWA. Named a Freshman All-American by both outlets as well, the All-ACC First Team starting pitcher led the ACC in regular season ERA (2.44) while winning 10 games, the most by a Tech hurler since 2013 (Devin Burke).
Joining Hurley as an invitee to USA Baseball’s 2022 Collegiate National Team training camp, Hackenberg notched the most strikeouts (87) in a Tech uniform since 2011 (Marc Zecchino), which ranked him sixth among ACC pitchers in fewest walks allowed per nine innings (1.85). Recently named the VaSID Pitcher and Rookie of the Year, he has also earned ABCA/Rawlings Atlantic All-Region First Team, All-ACC Academic Team and VaSID All-State First Team honors.
Tech’s lone 2022 All-American First-Team selection (as so named by Perfect Game), Cross performed at his best when facing the best, swinging 12 of his 17 home runs against Power Five opposition. The All-ACC First Team outfielder ranked among the top 25 NCAA Division I players in runs per game (70 runs, 1.23 per game), pairing his .328 batting average with 14 doubles, eight triples (tied for the second most nationally), his 12-for-12 mark in stolen bases, and his .660 slugging percentage.
Cross could well become one of the Hokies’ highest MLB Draft picks all-time, seeking to join Franklin Stubbs (1982), Brad DuVall (1987, 1988), Denny Wagner (1997) and Joe Saunders (2002) in the coveted first round. Among his additional 2022 honors, he made his way onto the ABCA/Rawlings All-Region Second Team and the VaSID All-State First Team. He was also named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2022 NCAA Blacksburg Regional.