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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – After dropping the first game of an ACC doubleheader Saturday at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium to Maryland, 10-9, Virginia Tech starter Joe Mantiply shut down the Terrapin offense in the second game and the Hokies managed to split the day with an 11-0 victory in game two.
By winning one of the games, Virginia Tech, who improved to 23-17, 8-12 ACC, has now at least split 10 straight doubleheaders or two games – against two different opponents – in a single day. The Hokies have won five and split five. Maryland is now 21-19 overall, 6-14 in the conference.
In the second game, Mantiply (3-0) worked a season-high seven scoreless frames and allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out six batters. He allowed his first hit in the third frame then retired 10 straight before a lead-off single by LaMonte Wade started the seventh.
With one out, Greg Olenski also singled and the pair moved into scoring position on a grounder – the first time a Terrapin even touched third base in the game. Mantiply got Anthony Papio to fly out to left and ended the threat.
Meanwhile, the Tech offense gave Mantiply more than enough breathing room, plating a single run in the first, two in the third and broke the game open in the fourth on a three-run home run by Mark Zagunis – part of a four-run frame. In the seventh, Brendon Hayden knocked in his third run of the game to spark a three-run inning.
Leading 11-0, the Hokies turned the game over to Sean Kennedy, who quickly saw the bases loaded with a pair of walks and an error. However, the freshman pitcher got a strikeout, a short fly out and a grounder to escape the threat and closed the ninth with a perfect frame.
In the first game, Maryland jumped out early and held a 6-2 lead after three frames. But the Hokies used a five-run sixth, keyed by a two-RBI single by Chad Morgan and a three-RBI double by Chad Pinder to take their first lead of the day.
Tech added a single run in the seventh – on a Hayden single scoring Tyler Horan – only to see the Terrapins answer with a two-run home run by Papio that knotted the game at 8-8 in the home half of the seventh.
In the eighth, Horan brought home a go-ahead run in Sean Keselica with a bases-loaded grounder, but Maryland won the game in the ninth on a two-RBI single by Papio to register the walk-off win.
The two teams will play again on Sunday to decide the series winner with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.
Additional Notes: Joe Mantiply won his 17th career game at Tech, just two shy of the most ever by a Hokie pitcher as a member of the ACC. All three of Mantiply’s wins in 2013 have been in the ACC, becoming the first Hokie starting pitcher to do it since Mathew Price in 2010. Andrew Rash had three hits in game two, including two doubles, and two RBI pushing those career totals to 196, 49, and 145. In game one, Gary Schneider had a season-high four hits that tied his career-high, and Alex Perez tied a season and career-high with three hits. In game two, Brendon Hayden tied a season and career-high with three RBI and two runs scored, while Sean Keselica tied a season and career-high with three hits. In the second game, the team pounded out a season-high 16 hits, now done four times this year.
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