BLACKSBURG, Va. – Thanks to a pair of quality starts by its pitching staff, Virginia Tech was able to take both ends of a doubleheader against No, 5 Virginia and win its second series over a top five program this year, as the Hokies defeated the Cavaliers, 5-3 and 11-6, in ACC action Saturday at English Field.
Tech, who previously won a series over then-No. 4 Florida State, 2-1, improved to 27-18 overall and 11-13 in the ACC and have now won four of its last five in the league. The Cavaliers, who were swept for the first time in a doubleheader since 2008, dropped to 38-8, 17-6 in the league.
Joe Mantiply improved to 4-0 on the season – all in the ACC – after tossing seven strong innings in the first game, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks but struck out five batters. With the win, he became the first Hokie pitcher as a member of the ACC to win his first four decisions and he also picked up career ACC win No. 10, as only Justin Wright won more with 12.
The Hokies opened the scoring on the day by plating a pair of runs in the first on a sac fly by Tyler Horan and an RBI single by Andrew Rash – scoring Alex Perez and Sean Keselica – and took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third with another Horan RBI, bringing in Keselica.
However, they were tied at 3-3 in the sixth after Kenny Towns hit the second Virginia solo home run of the afternoon – as Derek Fisher hit one in the second.
The Hokies responded in the home half of the sixth with back-to-back singles by Rash and Brendon Hayden. After a bunt by Kyle Wernicki moved both into scoring position, Chad Morgan and Perez followed with back-to-back RBI singles and Tech led 5-3.
Mantiply completed the seventh and Hayden got one out in the eighth before allowing back-to-back walks. Clark Labitan used a double play to end the threat and worked a perfect ninth for his sixth save of the season. Tech saddled Virginia starter Scott Silverstein with his first loss of the season, as his record is now 7-1.
In game two, the Hokies found themselves down 3-2 heading to the bottom of the third – Rash hit a two-run home run in the second to provide Tech's runs – but they used a five-run third and a three-run fourth to take command of the nightcap.
Horan hit a two-run home run in the third to highlight the outburst, while Chad Pinder drove in a pair and Wernicki and Hayden each had one to put Tech on top 10-3.
That was more than enough run support Devin Burke needed to improve his record to 7-3 after he went 7.1 innings, allowed four earned runs and struck out two. Jake Joyce finished the game for Tech, allowing one run in 1.2 innings in a non-save situation. Nick Howard took the loss for the Cavaliers and is now 5-4.
Tech will now play four straight games on the road, going to Radford for a midweek game on Tuesday with a 6 p.m. start before going to Boston College for its next ACC series.
Additional Notes: Tech defeats Virginia in a series for the first time since 2009, and now owns a 14-13 record against the Cavaliers at English Field. The series win is just the fourth ever over a top five opponent, the second at home. In its history, Tech was 0-7 all-time against teams ranked No. 5 before Saturday’s sweep. Tech is now 3-0-3 in doubleheaders (or two games in same day) this season and have not been swept in its last 11. With the game three win, the Hokies are now 6-2 in the final game of an ACC series – the most wins in game threes – and have matched the most wins in any one game of an ACC series – the 2010 squad won six game ones. Tech has outscored its opponents 45-28 in game threes.
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