CARY, N.C. – No. 25 Virginia Tech used two big scoring innings and Jake Joyce came on to save the game as the Hokies registered a 7-3 victory over Tennessee on Sunday afternoon at Coleman Field in the final day of the Irish Baseball Classic at the USA Baseball complex.
The win helped the Hokies to their seventh win in the last nine days – they went 7-2 in the span – and went 3-1 over the weekend while going 6-1 since last Sunday.
Tennessee (4-7) used a trio of two-out rallies to plate a single run in the third, fourth and fifth frames. Will Maddox drove in two of the runs and Andrew Lee had the other RBI for the Volunteers.
Devin Burke (3-0) picked up the win for the Hokies, after throwing 5.2 innings. He allowed six hits, three runs, two earned, and struck out three.
With a 4-3 lead, a runner on second and two outs in the sixth, Jake Joyce was called in from the pen. He retired nine straight batters before surrendering a pair of harmless singles in the ninth. He closed the game with his second punch-out to earn his second save of the year.
Tech (11-2) will take a couple days off before playing the first of four games at English Field on Wednesday against William & Mary with first pitch scheduled for 5:30 pm. This upcoming weekend, Tech opens ACC action as Georgia Tech comes to Blacksburg.
ADDITIONAL NOTES: Tech has now started 11-2 for the second straight season and the 10th time in the school’s history (2012, 1993, 1982, 1981, 1969, 1920 – 11-2; 1992, 1987 – 11-1-1; 1915 – 13-0). Tech coach Pete Hughes is five wins shy of 500 for his career. The Hokies defeated their first SEC opponent since Feb. 19, 2000 (Tennessee, 5-3), but all-time are 51-58-3 against current SEC teams. Mark Zagunis and Chad Pinder have reached base in all 13 games this season, with Zagunis collecting a hit in every game. Devin Burke becomes the first Tech weekend starting pitcher since Jesse Hahn (2010) to win his first three decisions.
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