RALEIGH, N.C. – It took 14 innings to decide game one of a three-game ACC series between No. 22 Virginia Tech and No. 25 NC State, tying for the longest game ever, in terms of innings, by the Hokies. The Wolfpack won the contest, 8-7, when Grant Clyde scored on a wild pitch.
In a game that featured 10 errors and seven unearned runs, the final run of the game was also unearned as Clyde won the game pretty much on his own, hitting a one-out single and moving to second on a fielding error. He took third on a balk before scoring the winning run.
Tech (21-10, 7-6 ACC) scored the first two runs of the game, both unearned, on a Kyle Wernicki squeeze play, scoring Mark Zagunis, in the second, and Zagunis drove in Tyler Horan with a single in the third.
NC State (22-10, 6-7 ACC) scored six unanswered, three of which were unearned, with the big blow coming in the fifth when the Wolfpack scored four to take the 6-2 lead.
The comeback wasn’t complete, though, until the eighth frame as Tech trailed 7-5. Wernicki hit a solo home run and Rash doubled home Alex Perez and the game was knotted at sevens.
Netither starter factored in the decision or lasted more than six innings. The Hokies used four pitchers - Brad Markey (4.1IP), Jake Joyce (2.2), Clark Labitan (4.0) and Sean Keselica (2.1), who suffered the loss and is 2-1 this season.
NC State used six pitchers - Carlos Rodon (5.2), Andrew Woeck (1.2), Grant Sasser (0.1), Chris Overman (4.2), Travis Orwig (0.2) and Josh Easley (1.0), who picked up the win and is now 3-2.
Tha game stayed tied at sevens for five innings before the Wolfpack handed the Hokies their first extra inning loss of the season, and first road extra inning loss since March 15, 2008 at North Carolina.
The two teams return to the field on Saturday – a game that will be broadcast by RSN – for the second game of the series with first pitch set for 1 p.m.
Additional Notes: Rash’s 35 home runs are the most by a Hokie as a member of the ACC and are eight shy of the top five in school history. Tech is now 14-2 when they hit a home run. Tech has played two 14-inning games before – March 30, 1995, a 6-5 loss at James Madison, and April 9, 1990, a 5-4 victory over Liberty. The game lasted four hours and 53 minutes, Tech’s longest since it joined the ACC, surpassing the 4:36-minute game last year at Virginia (a 10-8 win in 11 frames). Labita'Sn four innings pitched tied a career high and his five strikeouts was a season high. He has now thrown his last 15.2 innings scoreless. Joyce struck out three in his time on the mound, bringing his Hokie career totals to 120 IP and 122 Ks. Chad Pinder’s single in the third was the 150th of his career.
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