|USC Upstate (14-30)||2||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||4||12||1|
|Virginia Tech (27-20)||3||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||X||6||11||0|
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech hit three home runs through the game’s first three innings and held on for a 6-4 victory over USC Upstate in non-conference action Wednesday night at English Field.
Andrew Rash and Chad Pinder each hit two-run shots while Michael Seaborn launched a solo shot to help Tech improve to 27-20 on the season while the Spartans fell to 14-30.
The visitors actually took a two-run lead in the top of the first as four of the first five batters singled off Hokies’ starter Eddie Campbell. The other batter hit into a double play – one of three on the night for Tech – and Campbell got his final batter with a strikeout.
The Hokies used nine pitchers in the game with Sean McDermott, who got the win and improved to 2-2, and Jake Atwell both throwing a team game-high 1.1 innings, while Brandon Fisher and Ronnie Shaban each worked a perfect frame.
Trailing by two in the bottom of the first, Atwell led off with a single and stole second. With one out, Shaban connected on his 15th double of the season, the 54th of his career, tying him for fifth on the school’s all-time list with Marc Tugwell (2000-03).
The hit drove Atwell home for Shaban’s team-high 49th RBI of the season. An out later, Rash tied Shaban for the team lead in RBI when he launched his team-leading 17th home run of the season to put the Hokies on top 3-2.
They would not trail the rest of the way, and tacked on a solo home run by Seaborn in the second and a two-run shot by Pinder in the third – for both it was their third of the year.
Atwell, Seaborn, Shaban, and Rash all had two hits for the Hokies, while Tony Balisteri drew a pair of walks and scored a run.
The game wasn’t without drama, however, as the Spartans had runners on second and third with no one out in the ninth. Jake Joyce, who earned his third save of the season, retired two straight before walking a batter to load the bases. He got Tyler Cook to ground out to end the game.
Tech is in the midst of a 10-game home stand, which will end its regular season. The Hokies will face James Madison this weekend with single games on Saturday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.).
For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Baseball).