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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Virginia Tech made the most of five Florida Atlantic errors and again used a strong outing by starting pitcher Joe Parsons to register a 14-2 victory over the Owls Tuesday night at FAU Baseball Stadium in its final tune-up before starting ACC play on Friday.
Michael Seaborn, Andrew Rash, and Tyler Horan all drove in three runs, while Rash, Chad Pinder, and Johnny Morales each scored two times to lead the Hokies. Smalling and Rash were the only two Tech players with two hits, as the Hokies had 12 in the contest.
Joe Parsons went five innings, allowed five hits, struck out four, allowed an unearned run and battled out of a tough first frame to improve his record to 3-0 on the season. Manny Martir threw two scoreless frames with two punch outs, Ronnie Shaban struck out one in the eighth, and Jake Atwell finished the game with two strikeouts in the ninth.
Tech put the first run on the scoreboard in the first after Tony Balisteri singled to lead off the game and moved to third on a failed pick-off attempt by FAU catcher Mike Albaladejo. Seaborn followed with a sacrifice fly to left and the Hokies led 1-0.
Parsons, who walked just threebatters in 14 innings coming into the game, walked the opening batter but he was erased on a double-play ball. The next batter Andy Mee drew another walk and Dan Scheffler was hit by a pitch to put two runners aboard.
Parsons struck out the next batter looking and cruised through three of the next four frames.
In the third, the Hokies pushed another unearned run across the plate to take a two-run lead. Morales led off the frame by racing to second on a throwing error and took third on Balisteri’s sacrifice bunt. Smalling hit a two-out single to plate him, Smalling’s 17th RBI of the season. Rash made it 3-0 Tech with a lead-off home run in the fourth.
Florida Atlantic (10-4) would get one run back in the bottom of the fourth, plating an unearned run after the Hokies committed an error on what should have ended the inning. Joey Burkhalter singled to follow the error and scored Alex Hudak to cut the Owl deficit to 3-1.
Virginia Tech (10-4) broke the game open in the top of the fifth, taking advantage of a couple Owl errors to lead off the inning. Balisteri reached by a fielding error by the shortstop then made it to second on a throwing error by the third baseman.
With runners on first and second, Smalling, looking to sacrifice them along, bunted for a single loading the bases for the Tech. Ronnie Shaban then doubled down the first-base line to bring home two, giving him 17 RBI for the year as well. Smalling scored on a groundout by Rash one batter later.
Rash registered his second multi-home run game of the season when he hit a two-out solo shot to right center in the seventh, his sixth round tripper of the year and 21st RBI. Horan added a three-run pinch-hit home run in a Tech five-run eighth which made it 12-1.
Tech plated another two runs in the top of the ninth on a sac fly by pinch hitter Zac MacAneney, which scored Gabe Ortiz, who tripled to lead off the inning and Chad Pinder scored on a Seaborn single.
All that was left in the bottom of the ninth was whether FAU’s Raymond Church, the second batter of the inning would extend his career-high hitting streak to 23 games. Hitless in two official at-bats, he also drew a pair of walks, he came up with a runner on third and laced a single into center for an RBI and is now one game shy of the school’s all-time record.
Tech did however end the Owls six game winning streak with its victory. The Hokies open their conference slate with a three-game series at Miami starting on Friday. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Baseball).