BLACKSBURG – Devin Burke held the nation’s top offense to just four hits and one run over the first eight innings of the day as No. 24 Virginia Tech salvaged the final game of the three-game ACC series at English Field with a 6-2 victory over No. 14 Georgia Tech Sunday afternoon.
Entering the game, the Yellow Jackets sported a .353 team batting average and a nine-game winning streak – a streak in which they reached double figures in runs scored in all nine victories.
Georgia Tech (14-2, 2-1 ACC) started off the game with three straight singles, the third by Brandon Thomas that plated Kyle Wren and the Yellow Jackets led 1-0.
Burke retired the next two batters, which included a double play, and cruised over the next six frames. He was perfect in the second, third, fourth, sixth and seventh and allowed a lead-off walk in the fifth, which did no damage.
In the sixth, Brendon Hayden gave the Hokies a nice cushion with his second home run of the weekend, a three-run shot that scored Mark Zagunis and Andrew Rash. Chad Morgan would also score in the inning on a Sean Keselica two-out single.
With a 5-1 lead, Burke ran into a bit of trouble in the eighth as a single and one-out walk had two men aboard. Wren grounded out to Burke – one of three nice stops made by the pitcher in the game – which put runners on second and third with two out. Burke finished the inning with his only strikeout of the game, punching out Sam Dove on three pitches.
Chad Pinder singled home Perez in the bottom of the inning to put an extra run on the board before Burke took the mound to finish the game in the ninth.
However, a single and RBI double to lead off the inning saw the Hokies go to the bullpen. Joe Mantiply, making his first relief appearance since June 6, 2010 and first action since the season opener, got the final three outs, including a double play to end the game.
Virginia Tech will take a day off before heading on the road to face Charlotte, Tuesday, and Elon, Wednesday, before getting back into ACC action next weekend at Duke.
Additional Notes: Burke becomes first Tech weekend starter since Jesse Hahn (2010) to win his first four decisions. Burke and Mantiply held Georgia Tech to its lowest run output of the season; it was three (twice) prior to today. After this weekend, Virginia Tech is 28-16 as a ranked team under coach Pete Hughes, which includes a 15-6 mark at English Field. The Hokies improved to 6-0 when they were their maroon jerseys, while they were 15-5 last year wearing them. Chad Pinder and Mark Zagunis have reached base in all 16 games this season.
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