BLACKSBURG, Va. – Hosting its third straight top five program at English Field, Virginia Tech battled early, but a six-run seventh frame by visiting No. 5 Virginia put the game away for the Cavaliers as they registered a 15-6 victory Friday evening in ACC action.
Virginia improved to 38-6 on the year and 17-5 in the conference, while the Hokies dropped to 25-18, 9-13 in the league.
Tech scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the first, as Mark Zagunis plated Sean Keselica, who doubled, with a sac fly. However, Virginia responded with four in the top of the second to take the lead.
The Hokies trailed 5-1 when they came to bat in the bottom of the third and used a two-out, two-RBI double from Chad Pinder to cut their deficit to a pair. Scoring on the play were Gary Schneider and Keselica, who had a career-high day with four hits and three runs. Alex Perez and Pinder were the only other Hokies with more than one hit, as each had two.
Three innings later, the Hokies were down 9-3 but made it a three-run game when they pushed three runs across the plate in the bottom of the sixth. Keselica and Zagunis both scored on Tyler Horan’s fourth triple of the season. Rash then increased his team-lead in RBI with a single and now has 48 on the season. The single was the 200th of his Hokie career.
Virginia responded in the top of the seventh with those six runs with the big blow a two-run home run by Reed Gragnani, who knocked in a game-high four runs in the contest.
Brandon Waddell picked up the win on the mound for the Cavaliers and is now 4-1, while Whit Mayberry earned his second save after throwing 3.1 scoreless innings of relief. Brad Markey suffered the loss and is now 3-4 on the year.
The two teams will be back at it again on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. at English Field.
For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Baseball).