April 2, 2013
Pinder, Horan power Hokies to victory
The pair combine for eight RBI in 11-5 win over VCU
Virginia Commonwealth (14-12) 2000002105122
(22) Virginia Tech (21-9) 20201042X11120
  • English Field - 1,042

BLACKSBURG – Behind a pair of home runs by Chad Pinder and a three-run shot by Tyler Horan, No. 22 Virginia Tech defeated visiting VCU, 11-5, Tuesday night at English Field in non-conference action.

With the win, Tech is now 21-9, tying the best start since the 1993 squad started 21-8, and matching the 2003 squad. VCU dropped to 14-12 with the loss.

The Rams actually opened the scoring in the game, as they used a hit batsman and a walk to put the first two batters of the night on base. Brent Mikionis would follow with a two-run double and VCU led 2-0.

Then Pinder and Horan took over the Tech offense, with Pinder hitting a two-run home run in the first, Horan knocking in two with a double in the third and Pinder going yard again in the fifth as the Hokies took a 5-2 lead.

For Pinder, he became the first Hokie with a two homer game since April 1, 2012, when he hit two at Florida State. The last time a Tech player hit two home runs in a non-conference game was April 12, 2011, when Tim Smalling hit a pair at Radford.

Jake Joyce, who came in relief of Brendon Hayden who got the start for Tech, tossed 3.1 innings of scoreless relief. Sean Keselica followed with a scoreless sixth before VCU struck again in the seventh.

Vimael Machin hit a two-run home run to cut the Ram lead to just a single run at 5-4, and they had runners at first and second with two outs before Cody Acker was ruled out for interference on a grounder to second, ending another scoring opportunity.

Tech responded with four insurance runs in the home half of the seventh, three on a Horan home run, his fourth of the year, to give him a career-high five RBI in the game. Pinder would score on the homer, the fourth time he crossed the plate in the game, a career-high.

Clark Labitan tossed the final two innings for Tech scoreless and struck out a pair, his final inning being the 100th inning pitched in his Hokie career. Joyce picked up the win and is now 4-1 on the season.

The Hokies return to the field on Friday for a three-game ACC series at No 25 NC State. All three games will be available on ESPN3 as Saturday’s game is also on RSN. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Additional Notes: Tech is now 17-6 all-time as a ranked team at English Field, and 31-18 overall under Hughes. Pinder, Horan and Mark Zagunis lead the team with four home runs apiece. Pinder and Horan each now have 27 RBI, tied for third behind Zagunis and Andrew Rash, each with 30. Chad Morgan and Zagunis each recorded their 300th career at bat in their final at bat in the game, while Alex Perez recorded his 300th with his second at bat. Joyce won his 10th game as a Hokie, in his 80th career appearance.

For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Baseball).

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