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CORAL GABLES, Fla. – In its 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference opener, Virginia Tech was defeated by the Miami Hurricanes in the first contest of the three-game series, 3-1, at Alex Rodriguez Park Friday night.
Stephen Perez had three hits, an RBI and scored a run to lead the Hurricanes, while Ronnie Shaban drove in Tech’s only run with a double, one of just four hits for the Hokies on the night.
Tech starter Joe Mantiply battled through five innings, as the Hurricanes loaded the bases in four of them. He was able to end three of the frames with strikeouts and not allowing a run to score. He ended his day with four punch outs in all, but Miami was able to tag him for two runs in the second.
For the second straight frame, Miami loaded the bases without the ball leaving the infield. With one out, though, Mantiply, who has had three double plays turned behind him, induced a grounder, but the Hokies could not get the twin killing. In fact, the relay to first was wide allowing a second runner to cross the plate.
His counterpart in the other dugout Bryan Radziewski held the Hokies scoreless through seven frames, getting help from his fielders. They turned a pair of double plays – in the second after Tech got a lead-off single and in the fourth after the Hokies put their first two batters on – and also cut down a runner trying to extend a double into a triple. He did his part as well, issuing just one walk and fanning seven.
The game was then in the hand of the bullpens – for the Hokies in the sixth and Miami in the eighth. Jake Joyce through two perfect frames with a pair of strikeouts, before Brandon Fisher allowed one run to score in the eighth. Miami’s Sam Robinson threw a perfect eighth and Daniel Miranda closed the game with his second save.
He did however make it interesting as Michael Seaborn led off the ninth with walk and Tim Smalling was robbed of extra bases on a diving grab by right fielder Dale Carey. Shaban then doubled home Seaborn, but was left stranded to end the game.
The two teams will play the second of the three-game ACC series on Saturday with first pitch against scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will be televised by Comcast Sports Southeast.
For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Baseball).