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BLACKSBURG, Va. – For the first time this season, Virginia Tech dropped a midweek game, falling to visiting Radford, 7-5, at English Field Tuesday evening, despite what looked like a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth.
Andrew Rash, who had already gone deep for his eighth home run of the season, came to the plate with two outs and Tim Smalling on first. He launched a 1-1 pitch high into the night sky, but with what little wind that may have been blowing in from left field, the ball stayed in the yard and was caught at the wall.
Rash finished with a pair of hits, as did Ronnie Shaban, Chad Pinder and Johnny Morales. For the Highlanders, Matt Hillsinger had four hits, raising his batting average to .408, Matt Mack had three hits and Robert Lamas had two.
Tech scored the first run of the game in the first on a wild pitch, with Michael Seaborn crossing the plate for his 28th run of the year, tying him for the team-lead with Tony Balisteri.
They quickly found themselves down 3-1, though, as Radford scored a single run in the second (RBI by Lamas), the third (RBI from Mack) and the fourth (RBI by Hillsinger).
The Hokies answered back in the home half of the fourth with Rash leading off with his solo shot and with two outs, Morales came through with an RBI single to plate Pinder.
Radford (14-10) plated a pair of runs in the fifth – a two-out two-RBI double from Lamas – and the sixth – an unearned run and an RBI single from Mack – to reclaim its lead and push it to 7-3.
Tech (14-12) again responded in its home half of the sixth, cutting its deficit in half. Chad Morgan singled home Pinder, who led off with his second triple of the season, and Morgan came home on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Michael Seaborn.
In all, the Hokies used six pitchers with the last three keeping the Highlanders off the scoreboard over the final three frames. Radford used five hurlers and kept Tech off the board in their final three innings.
Brad Wimmer earned the win and improved to 2-1, while Patrick Scoggin suffered his first loss of the season. Abram Williams, who surrendered the Rash almost, picked up his sixth save of the year with the scoreless ninth.
Tech will now turn its attention to this weekend’s ACC match-up with in-state rival Virginia, who is ranked No. 1 by some national polls. That series starts on Friday at English Field with first pitch scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Baseball).