BLACKSBURG, Va. – Marc Zecchino struck out a career-high tying 11 batters and Tyler Horan hit an eighth-inning three-run home run for the Hokies, however, another strong pitching performance from the Cavaliers helped Virginia to a 9-3 victory over Virginia Tech Saturday afternoon at English Field.
The win pushed No. 2 Virginia, also #1 in a pair of polls, to 26-2, 10-1 in the ACC, while Tech falls to 14-15 overall and 1-10 in the league.
Zecchino started the game with a strikeout, the 100th of his Tech career and struck out a pair in each of the first three frames. He did allow an RBI double to David Coleman in the bottom of the second, which put Virginia on top 1-0.
The Hokies had their chances during that time, but stranded a pair of runners in the first and third, as they were unable to take advantage of four Cavalier errors that twice had runners standing on third base.
Zecchino, who after today has now thrown 22 innings during ACC action, has seen just one Hokie run scored while on the mound. He lost his prior three starts all by a single run. Despite striking out the side in the fourth, he surrendered a three run home run to Coleman as Virginia took a 4-0 lead.
It was 7-0 by the time Horan stepped to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. To this point in the game, Tech was hitless in 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position, and seven times were struck out. Horan blasted an opposite field home run, his third of the year, to put the Hokies on the board.
It completed a day for Horan that saw him have three hits, which including two doubles. For the series, he is 5-for-6 with three doubles, two home runs and four RBI. Tony Balisteri and Jake Atwell also had a pair of hits for the Hokies.
Coleman had the big day for Virginia with four hits and five RBI, while Steven Proscia had three hits and Kenny Swab had a pair. All three men scored two runs for the Cavaliers.
Tyler Wilson improved to 4-0 after throwing seven scoreless innings, scattering five hits and striking out 10 batters. Shane Halley allowed the three-run home run to Horan, while Justin Thompson finished the game for Virginia.
Zecchino dropped to 2-4 with the loss, after going 5 2/3 with those 11 strikeouts. Manny Martir went 2 2/3 and allowed a pair of runs and Ronnie Shaban got the final two outs in the ninth.
The teams will conclude the three-game series on Sunday with a game at English Field starting at 1 p.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Baseball).