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IN THE REGION

In the region: VMI promotes Roberts to head baseball coach

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Roberts

Sam Roberts, once a standout player for VMI, is the Keydets' new head baseball coach.

VMI announced Friday it has promoted Sam Roberts from associate head baseball coach to head coach.

Roberts succeeds his former boss Jonathan Hadra, who stepped down as VMI’s coach last week to become an assistant at Old Dominion.

Roberts, a 2011 VMI graduate, had been a VMI assistant since 2017. He had risen from volunteer assistant to pitching coach to associate head coach. Josh Winder and Zak Kent were among his VMI pitching pupils.

Roberts remains VMI’s career leaders in hits (272), runs scored (185), walks (143) and at-bats (797) and shares the career record for games played (210).

He was both a shortstop and a pitcher for the Keydets. He earned All-Big South honors as a senior shortstop in 2011, when he hit .347 with 46 runs and 37 RBIs. He also had four saves that year.

Roberts was chosen by Oakland in the 26th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft. He spent five years in the minor leagues, seeing action both in the infield and on the mound.

His older brother Mike also played baseball for VMI, while their cousin Will Roberts played for Virginia.

BASEBALL

Mets sign Tech’s Geber

The New York Mets announced they have signed former Virginia Tech pitcher Jordan Geber.

The Mount St. Mary’s graduate transfer was 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA, 40 strikeouts and nine walks in 35 innings for the Hokies this year. He was not chosen in last month’s Major League Baseball draft.

Geber had been pitching this summer in the MLB Draft League. For the first part of the summer, that league served as a showcase for draft-eligible players. After the draft, the league transitioned to a pro league for undrafted players. Geber pitched for the Frederick Keys during both phases of the league.

Radford hires Bourne

Radford University rookie coach Alex Guerra announced the hiring of Jefferson Forest High School graduate Christian Bourne as pitching coach.

Bourne helped Jefferson Forest make the state title game as a senior in 2015.

Bourne pitched for James Madison from 2016-19, during part of Guerra’s seven-year stint as a JMU assistant. The two worked together at JMU in 2021, when Bourne was the Dukes’ director of pitching development.

Bourne spent the 2022 season as Georgia Southern’s director of baseball operations and player development.

Guerra’s first Radford staff also includes hitting coach Billy Funk, who was formerly an assistant at Louisburg (Junior) College, and volunteer assistant Seth Lancaster, who was formerly a graduate assistant at Longwood.

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