December 1 - Battlefield senior Jonah Seagears has accepted a preferred walk-on invitation by Virginia Tech coach John Szefc, the Bobcats announced last night on their Twitter handle.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound second baseman was a second-team all-6A Conference 8 selection last spring when he hit .302 with a .478 on-base percentage, three home runs and 11 RBI. He has recorded 20 stolen bases in 21 attempts over the past two seasons.
“Last year, we kind of moved him around a little bit. He’s athletic, he can play the middle [infield] and he can play in the outfield,” said Battlefield coach Jay Burkhart, who said he expects to entrench Seagears at second base during the upcoming season. “He’s definitely got a lot of potential and we’re hoping he’s going to continue to improve moving forward … we’re looking forward to him having a great senior year for us.”
The Bobcats went 14-8 last season, falling to eventual North Region champion Oakton in the quarterfinal round. Seagears becomes the seventh Battlefield player bound for college baseball, joining senior first baseman Austin Estridge (Roanoke) and senior pitchers Jake Michna (Queens University), Casey Rosenthal (Roanoke) and Dylan Roth (Christopher Newport) as well as two juniors: shortstop and pitcher Zach Agnos (East Carolina) and outfielder Carter Cunningham (Gardner-Webb).
Also a versatile standout on the school’s football team, Seagears earned first team Class 6 Western District honors at three positions this fall - wide receiver, defensive back and punt returner - as the Bobcats went 7-4 and advanced to the Northern Region playoffs. He had 31 catches for 427 yards and five touchdowns, averaged over 21 yards per punt return and took two back for scores, and returned one of three interceptions for another score.
Szefc is in his first season with the Hokies after leading Maryland to a 180-122 mark and three NCAA Tournament appearances in his six seasons in College Park. Virginia Tech went 23-32 overall and 14-11 in the Atlantic Coast Conference last spring in coach Patrick Mason’s final season.
The Hokies’ incumbent starting second baseman is redshirt junior Jack Owens, a graduate of Lake Braddock who was one of the team’s top performers last season when he hit .358 with a .424 on-base percentage and 23 extra-base hits in 55 games.
Photo by Fred Ingham