ELON, N.C. – Despite a career-high day for Sean Keselica on the mound, Virginia Tech was on the wrong side of a rare midweek nonconference game, as the Hokies dropped a 4-3 decision to Elon, Wednesday afternoon at Latham Park.
Keselica set career-highs in innings pitched and strikeouts – both at six – and scattered six hits and a walk one. In his time on the mound, no Elon base runner even touched third base as he stranded seven Phoenix men and used a double play to erase another.
The Hokies gave Keselica a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the second inning, as Alex Perez drew a bases loaded walk – scoring Mark Zagunis – and Brendon Hayden scored an unearned run on the next play.
Elon (8-8) used three straight singles to start the seventh to load the bases before a sac fly by Joey Tomko pulled the Phoenix to within 2-1. After another flyout, it looked like Tech reliever Eddie Campbell would escape the jam, but Ryan Kinsella got a fly ball into the wind and it went over the fence for a three-run home run.
The Hokies plated another unearned run in the top of the eighth, when Chad Pinder singled, stole second and scored on another Elon error.
Nate Young worked a scoreless ninth to pick up his fourth save of the year to get the win for Brandon Kacer (0-1), while Campbell dropped to 1-2.
Virginia Tech (13-5) returns to the field for its second ACC series of the year and the first on the road when the Hokies face Duke in a three-game series starting Friday at 6 p.m. with all three being played at Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Additional Notes: Tech had won 21 straight midweek nonconference games – last losing to Radford, 7-5, on March 29, 2011. Tech had also won its last 14 midweek nonconference road games – last losing on April 22, 2009 at Liberty, 4-3. In the past four plus seasons (2009-2013), the Hokies are 27-5 in nonconference games on the road, losing just one time in each season – the past three seasons were on opening weekend. Add in neutral site nonconference games, in which Tech is 13-3 in the span, the team is 40-8 in nonconference games away from English Field in the since the start of 2009 season and 94-20 overall.
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