Watson, Cannizzaro, Renfrow earn 2024 All-ACC praise

ACC Release

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Regarded among the conference's best diamond performers during the 2024 regular season, three Virginia Tech baseball student-athletes have collected year-end, all-conference praise from the ACC, as announced during Monday's postseason awards presentation.

Fifth-year outfielder Ben Watson led the trio of decorated Hokies with his selection to the 2024 All-ACC Second Team. Watson is two days removed from clinching the ACC regular season batting title (.418 batting average) and carries an active, 13-game hitting streak into postseason play.

Sixth-year outfielder Chris Cannizzaro and freshman right-hand pitcher Brett Renfrow followed Watson on the All-ACC Third Team. Renfrow added ACC All-Freshman Team honors to his mantle, continuing the Hokies' streak of four consecutive years with at least one such rookie mention.

Watson quickly blossomed into one of the brightest NCAA Division III transfer stories in the nation, taking the ACC by storm during his first Virginia Tech campaign. The 2023 D3baseball.com All-American First Team outfielder packed up his four-year, .420 career batting average at Elizabethtown College and showed no regression at the Power Five level, charting a .418 mark this season with 89 hits, 19 doubles, three triples, four home runs, 51 runs scored and 44 RBIs.

Chasing history, Watson enters the 2024 ACC Baseball Championship three hits shy of tying the Virginia Tech single-season record – a feat currently shared by Tim Buheller (1985), Shaun Sullivan (1985) and Steve Domecus (2010). The swift-swinging vet holds two distinct hitting streaks of 18 and 13 games this season and has recorded 29 multi-hit games, including 12 games during which he belted three hits or more.

Six years into his collegiate career, Cannizzaro's 2024 season with Virginia Tech may arguably have been the outfielder's finest on the diamond. The native of Staten Island, New York, raised his .337 batting average from his 2023 season with the Hokies to .346 during the 2024 campaign, knocking 62 hits, 12 doubles, a triple and 12 home runs while scoring 42 runs and producing 49 RBIs.

With his 2024 All-ACC Third Team honor, Cannizzaro is now a three-time all-conference selection during his career, having twice been named to the All-Patriot League First Team during his 2021 and 2022 seasons at Bucknell.

Renfrow made an immediate impact during his first spring with Virginia Tech, becoming the program's first true freshman pitcher to start on Opening Day during its ACC era. Five shutout innings of one-hit ball at Charlotte later, the rookie right-hander was on his way to earning the first of six victories during his 2024 season – the most by a freshman arm out of Blacksburg since Drue Hackenberg (10 wins) in 2022.

During his ACC debut on March 8, Renfrow struck out 10 Notre Dame batters during his eight-inning start against the Fighting Irish, chalking his fourth consecutive season-opening victory. He finished the regular season with a 6-3 record and a 4.33 ERA through 72 and two-thirds innings pitched, registering 76 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .242 batting average.

Watson, Cannizzaro and Renfrow will suit up with Virginia Tech at this week's ACC Baseball Championship, taking place at Truist Field in Charlotte, North Carolina. The 10th-seeded Hokies will open Pool C on Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m. against sixth-seeded [No. 17] Duke and continue on to play third-seeded [No. 12] NC State on Wednesday, May 22, at 7 p.m.