COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Joe Mantiply struck out a career-high nine batters and, for the ninth time in 10 games, Virginia Tech had at least 10 hits en route to a 7-2 victory over Maryland Friday night in ACC action at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.
Mantiply worked 6 1/3 innings, allowed five hits, two runs, one earned and walked two to even his record at 5-5 and help the Hokies improve to 21-19 overall and 5-14 in the ACC. Maryland dropped to 17-23 with the loss and 4-15 in conference play.
The Hokies scored in the third, fourth and fifth innings to give Mantiply a lead he would not relinquish.
Jake Atwell doubled in third inning, his second hit of the game, and would come home on Ronnie Shaban’s two-out RBI single. For Atwell, it extended his streak of scoring to 11 straight games, which also matches his hitting streak – a team season long.
In the fourth, Andrew Rash singled to lead off the frame and moved to third on Tony Balisteri’s single and scored one batter later on a ground-ball double play.
In the fifth, Michael Seaborn hit a one-out triple and scored on a wild pitch and Tim Smalling blasted his ninth home run of the season to make it a 4-1 contest. It was the 50th home run of the season for the team and marked the 13th time in 14 games the Hokies have hit a long ball.
During this time, Mantiply was cruising on the mound, which including striking out the side in the first and allowing only an unearned run in the third. He worked out of a pair of two-runners on and two-out situations in the fifth and sixth to keep the Terrapins to just the single run.
However, in the seventh, Maryland opened the inning with back-to-back singles before Mantiply retired lead-off hitter Charlie White for the first out of the frame, but put runners on the corners.
Tech went to reliever Jake Joyce, who allowed a run to score on a wild pitch, but ended the threat with a caught stealing and a strikeout. He struck out two in the eighth inning as well.
The Hokies added three insurance runs in the top of the ninth all with two outs. Johnny Morales was standing on second when Atwell was intentionally walked. Seaborn came through with an RBI single and Shaban brought in two more with a double and Tech led 7-2.
For Morales, it was his sixth straight game either scoring a run or driving one in. For Seaborn, it was his team-leading 42 run scored, while Shaban increased his RBI total to 44 for the season and 149th of his career.
Joyce finished the game with a perfect ninth and picked up his second save of the season. With the nine strikeouts, Mantiply went over the century mark for punch outs, now with 102.
With the win, the Hokies have now beaten Maryland five straight times at Bob “Turtle” Smith and have won six of their last seven against the Terrapins overall. The win is also the eighth for the Hokies on the road in their last 11.
They will try to increase those numbers when they face the Terrapins again on Saturday with first pitch slated for 3 p.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Baseball).