BLACKSBURG, Va. – Alex Perez drove in a career-high four runs to help No. 22 Virginia Tech to a nonconference victory over visiting High Point, 11-4 – its sixth straight over the Panthers – on Wednesday evening at English Field as the Hokies have now won nine of their last 11 games.
Tech, who improved to 31-19 overall, is now 14-4 this season as a ranked team versus unranked opponents and is 8-3 at English Field as a ranked team. Under Coach Pete Hughes, the team is 18-6 all-time as a ranked team at home and 26-7 against unranked foes. Also, since the start of 2009, Tech is now 100-22 in nonconference games.
The Hokies led early as Sean Keselica scored two times after a pair of singles – with Tyler Horan and Mark Zagunis each getting the RBI on doubles. Brendon Hayden hit a two-RBI single in the third that plated both Chad Pinder, his second run of the game, and Zagunis and the Hokies led 5-1.
High Point (24-25) saw its starting pitcher Ryan Retz, who also was the DH in the game, lead the team at the plate. In all he had three hits, including a double and run scored in both the second and fourth, the latter pulled his team to within 5-2.
Perez would then break the game open as he hit a two-RBI double in a three-run sixth frame and followed that with a two-RBI single in the seventh for his fourth three-hit game of the season, one of three Hokies with three hits in the game.
Tech used a season-high 18 hits in the game, as Ryan Burns, who set a career-high, and Zagunis, each also had three. Five men scored twice in the game, which included Chad Morgan, Burns, Zagunis, Pinder and Keselica.
On the mound, Hayden worked a career-high tying four innings with three strikeouts, while Eddie Campbell, who got the win, threw three scoreless frames with three punch outs as well. Jake Joyce and Colin O’Keefe tossed an inning each to close the game.
The Hokies will have a week off before their next ACC series, which starts next Thursday against Wake Forest at English Field. They will host Marist this weekend – Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. – in a nonconference two-game set.
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