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BLACKSBURG, Va. – Andrew Rash drove in three runs and scored twice while Tyler Horan registered a key two-RBI double for Virginia Tech as the Hokies once again came from behind to pull out a victory, this time defeating Maryland, 7-5, on Friday night at English Field.
With their 22nd comeback overall and the 17th when trailing entering their at-bats in the fifth frame or later, the Hokies improved to 29-15 and 9-13 in the ACC, while the Terrapins drop to 27-18 on the season, 7-15 in the conference.
Trailing 4-0 after two innings, the Hokies plated four runs in the third with Rash driving in a pair with a double – scoring Brendon Hayden and Kyle Wernicki. Rash would score on a throwing error by the Maryland second baseman which put Johnny Morales at second and Mark Zagunis followed with an RBI double to tie the game.
Maryland pushed a single run across the plate in the top of the fifth to reclaim its lead, but it was the Terrapins final run of the game as the Tech bullpen combined for 4.2 innings of scoreless pitching.
In the sixth, the Hokies started the frame with a pair of strikeouts looking, but a two-out walk by Wernicki started a three-run rally. Alex Perez then singled putting runners on the corners and Rash came through again with an RBI single to tie the game at 5-5. Horan then laced a two-RBI double into right field to give Tech a 7-5 advantage.
Atwell induced a key double-play ball in the seventh and Labitan worked out of a first and third with one out in the eighth to keep Maryland off the board. In the ninth, he faced a first and second with one out, but got the final two batters with strikeouts to pick up his second save of the season.
McIntyre improved to 5-0 out of the pen this season for Tech, while Terrapin starter Jimmy Reed dropped to 1-2 with the loss.
The teams will resume the ACC series with the second game on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. at English Field.
Additional Notes: With the win, the Hokies are now 6-1 in their last seven ACC home games and have won five straight at English Field overall. This was the sixth straight win over the Terrapins and ninth in the last 10 games. With his double, Mark Zagunis extended two streaks – his hitting streak, which is now at 11 games , and his reached base streak, which is now at 36 games. Johnny Morales again finished one assist shy of tying the single-game record for assists by a shortstop with eight this evening. With Jake Atwell inducing the ground-ball double play, Tech has now turned 40 this season behind 15 different pitchers – only Brendon Hayden (who has only pitched in one game for two innings) has not seen a DP turned behind him. This win was head coach Pete Hughes’ 100th career win at English Field.
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