BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech banged out 26 hits, including 14 for extra bases, on the way to a doubleheader baseball sweep of Hartford at English Field on Wednesday. Tech won the opening game 10-3 and took the nightcap 11-3 to improve its season record to 12-7.
The Hokies won the first game behind a 14-hit attack that featured solo home runs by shortstop Tim Smalling and right fielder Chad Pinder during a decisive four-run sixth inning. The Hokies built a 3-0 advantage over the first three innings with left fielder Andrew Rash singling home a run in the bottom of the first and doubling in another in the third. Smalling doubled in Tech’s third run later in the inning.
The Hawks (0-9-1) used a pair of singles and a Tech throwing error to cut the lead to one with two runs in the fourth. Designated hitter Victor Santana was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and eventually scored on the error. Third baseman Brian Hunter added a two-out RBI-single for the second run.
Smalling started the sixth inning with his fourth homer of the year and Pinder followed a batter later with his second round-tripper of the season. Designated hitter Tyler Horan singled, stole second and scored the third run on a single by third baseman Johnny Morales. Morales stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch before racing home on a sacrifice fly off the bat of center fielder Tony Balisteri for a 7-2 Tech lead.
Tech extended its lead with two runs in the seventh and one in eight. Smalling and Horan finished with three hits apiece for the Hokies, with Smalling also driving in three runs. Rash and Morales each added two hits and two runs batted in.
Freshman lefty Eddie Campbell started and worked 5 1/3 innings to earn his first collegiate win and even his season record at 1-1. Campbell scattered five hits and allowed two runs, one earned. He struck out two and did not walk a batter. Hartford’s Alex Goulin (0-1) took the loss.
After falling behind 2-1 in the nightcap, Tech picked up big hits from Smalling and Pinder once again to capture the lead for good in the third inning. After first baseman Ronnie Shaban tripled in the first run of the inning, Smalling smacked a double to plate Shaban with the go-ahead run. A batter later, Pinder doubled in Smalling to put the Hokies on top 4-2.
Tech extended its lead to 7-2 with three runs in the fourth and got a solo homer from Balisteri with two outs in the fifth, his fourth home run of the year. Pinder and Morales rounded out the scoring in the eighth with an RBI-single and a two-run single, respectively. Pinder, Morales and Rash each drove in two runs for the Hokies in game two, while Pinder, Smalling, Balisteri and second baseman Michael Seaborn had two hits apiece.
Sophomore Patrick Scoggin, who came on in relief in the third inning, picked up the victory with his longest pitching stint to date. The 6-4 right-hander allowed just one unearned run on two hits over five innings of work. He struck out a career-best nine batters, while issuing just two walks.
Hartford managed just six hits in the finale, including a double by left fielder Ryan Lukach. Starting pitcher Tyler Corsi pitched four innings a took his second loss of the season.
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