BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia defeated Virginia Tech, 18-3, in the first game of a three-game series at English Field on Friday night. With the loss, the Hokies fall to 14-14 overall and 1-10 in ACC action, while Virginia, ranked either first or second in all four national polls, improves to 26-2 overall and 9-1 in league play.
The Hokies drew first blood in the bottom of the first inning when lead-off man Tony Balisteri walked and moved to second on a balk by UVa starter Danny Hultzen. Balisteri moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Michael Seaborn and scored on Andrew Rash’s ninth home run of the season, a blast to left-center.
The Cavaliers took the lead in the top of the third inning when John Hicks walked and moved to second on a single to left by Ryan Levine. Hicks then scored on a two-out double to left by Kenny Swab. Levine and Swab then scored on a single by Reed Gragnani and scored on a triple by Jared King. Jake Joyce replaced starter Joe Mantiply and balked in King with the fifth run of the inning. The Cavaliers broke the game open in the top of the fourth inning, scoring six runs.
The Cavaliers scored runs in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth innings. The 18 runs are a season-high for Virginia and the most runs allowed by the Hokies this season. Tech scored its final run of the evening on a solo home run to right by Tyler Horan, his second homer of the season.
Hultzen improves to 6-0 on the season, allowing two runs over six innings. He struck out seven and walked two. Mantiply took the loss, allowing five runs in 2 2/3 innings of work in falling to 2-5 on the season. Whit Mayberry earned his first save of the season, pitching the final three innings in relief for Virginia.
The Hokies could muster just six hits in the game, while allowing the Cavaliers 16 hits. Tech pitchers walked 11 and also hit three batters in the game, as the Cavaliers left 14 runners on base.
The two teams will play the second game of the series on Saturday. First pitch is at 2 p.m. at English Field.
For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Baseball).