FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech baseball coach Pete Hughes has announced the promotion of Pat Mason to the position of associate head coach. Mason, who has served the past two seasons as the Hokies’ pitching coach, enters his third year on Tech’s bench.
“Pat’s been a great addition to the Virginia Tech community. The last two years, he’s been an unbelievable asset in the running of the daily operations of our baseball program,” Hughes said. “What he’s done with our program on a daily basis in the development of our pitching staff has warranted this promotion and is well deserved.
“This couldn’t go to a more deserving assistant coach in the country. The Virginia Tech baseball family is happy for Pat and grateful for everything he does for our program.”
In two seasons with Tech, Mason has improved the pitching staff tremendously, as the Hokies have posted back-to-back seasons with an ERA below 4.60 – not done since 1995-96 – and have limited their home runs allowed in a single season to numbers not seen since the late 1970s.
He guided a 2011 staff, a squad that totaled just 42 percent of the team’s innings the previous season, to a 4.57 ERA, which was the second lowest ERA in 15 seasons. The 23 home runs allowed was the fewest since 1977 (17) and only the 1979 team (25) surrendered fewer than 32 in the 34-year span since ‘77.
Mason followed his rookie season in Blacksburg with an even better second year, as his staff lowered its ERA to 4.16, the second lowest ERA in almost 30 years when the 1984 staff posted a 3.80 ERA. They also allowed just 24 home runs, again the second lowest since 1977.
Following the 2012 season, four of his pitchers were either drafted or signed pro contracts highlighted by returning senior Joe Mantiply by the Philadelphia Phillies and Ronnie Shaban by the St. Louis Cardinals, who was just named the Appalachian League’s relief pitcher of the year. Andrew Aizenstadt (Phillies) and Patrick Scoggin (Atlanta Braves) signed pro contracts in the summer bringing the total number of Tech pitchers signed to pro contracts under Mason to five – joined by Joe Parsons, a 2011 Pittsburgh Pirate signee.