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DURHAM, N.C. – Chad Morgan hit a pinch-hit RBI single in the top of the 11th frame to score Tyler Horan and Jake Joyce, who entered the game in the ninth, closed things out for the Hokies as they registered a 2-1 come-back victory over Duke in 11 innings on Friday evening in ACC action at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Tied at 1-1 and with two outs and a runner on first, Andrew Rash lofted a ball down the line which dropped and moved Horan to third. Morgan then came up and smacked the first pitch he saw into the outfield, scoring Horan with the go-ahead run.
Morgan, not knew to late-game heroics, actually tallied two walk-off game-winning RBI last year, the first with a sac fly against Iowa and the other against Liberty.
In the bottom of the frame, Joyce quickly sat down the first two Blue Devils, and retired eight straight since he came in from the pen. But a single and walk put runners on first and second, before a grounder to short ended the game.
Duke (10-8, 2-2 ACC) put its only run on the board in the second frame, as Grant McCabe drew a one-out walk, stole second and then scored on a two-out single by Ryan Munger.
Blue Devil starter Trent Swart battled through the first two innings, but kept the Hokies off the board. He faced a first-and-third with no outs in the first and a bases-loaded jam with one out in the second, but escaped with a pair of double plays.
Swart lasted seven innings and struck out seven, while he allowed six hits and two walks, and one Hokie reached on an error. The start was almost identical to his start against Tech last year. On March 24, 2012, he lasted 7.2 frames, struck out seven, surrendered four hits and a walk and also held the Hokies scoreless.
Virginia Tech (14-5, 2-2 ACC) scored its first run once Swart was taken out of the game. In the eighth, Duke reliever Andrew Istler saw the first batter he faced – Alex Perez take him out of the park. Perez’ solo shot was the first home run of his career.
On the mound for Tech, Brad Markey lasted into the ninth frame, scattering six hits and five walks and striking out five batters. With one out in the ninth, and Blue Devils on first and second, Joyce was called in from the pen and ended the frame to send the game into extra innings.
Joyce picked up the win in relief and is now 3-1 on the season, while Istler dropped his record to 1-2.
The teams will face each other again on Saturday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.
Additional Notes: The Hokies have now won three straight at DBAP, winning the final two games of the 2011 series, including a 6-5 win in 10 innings in the Saturday game. Tech is now 9-2 this season in the state of North Carolina. Coach Pete Hughes is two wins shy of 500 for his career, four wins shy of 200 at Tech. The Hokies are 10-1 when they hit a home run. Chad Morgan has seven game-winning RBI in his career. Chad Pinder and Mark Zagunis have reached base in all 19 games played this year. Gary Schneider notched his first three-hit game as a Hokie. Tech’s last extra inning game was a 4-2 loss in 11 innings to NC State last year (May 11, 2012).
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