Conway, S.C. – Held scoreless by Iowa through seven frames, Virginia Tech battled back to register a 4-3 walk-off victory thanks to a Chad Morgan sacrifice fly – one of three runs scored by the Hokies in the bottom of the ninth – in each team’s final game of the Caravelle Resort’s Baseball at the Beach tournament at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field Sunday.
The Hokies improved to 6-2 with their fourth come-from-behind victory of the season, while Iowa dropped to 1-5 with the loss.
Iowa jumped out to a 3-0 lead after scoring two in the fifth on a pair of sacrifice flies and a third in the seventh as Hawkeye starter Sasha Kuebel was cruising on the mound. He faced just one over the minimum through six frames, allowing just two singles and surrendered a third single in the seventh.
In the ninth, three straight Hokies reached base to plate their second run, as Chad Pinder got on by an error, pinch-hitter Brendon Hayden walked and Andrew Rash singled home Pinder. Still with no outs, Tyler Horan notched a sacrifice bunt and Ortiz was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Perez then laced a single through the left side to tie the game at 3-3 and Chad Morgan, who had just come in to catch the top of the ninth, hit a 0-1 pitch into right field, deep enough to plate Rash with the winning run.
Patrick Scoggin started the game for the Hokies and went 5.2 frames, allowed two earned runs and struck out three. Five relief pitchers combined for the final 3.1 innings pitched and allowed just three hits, one earned run and struck out two. Tanner McIntyre picked up the win on the mound for Tech.
The Hokies take just one day off before heading back on the road, travelling to High Point, N.C. to face the Panthers on Tuesday with first pitch at 4 p.m.
Additional Notes: Ironically No. 1, the last time the Hokies played on today’s field, the game was also decided in walk-off fashion (a 6-5 loss to Coastal Carolina in 2011). Ironically No. 2, the last time the Hokies won a game when trailing entering the ninth was on the same field the day before in 2011 (an 11-9 victory over Tennessee Tech). The run by Ortiz in the eighth extended Tech’s streak of now 98 straight games without being shutout, the longest streak among ACC teams. Pinder has hit safely in all eight games this season.
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