BLACKSBURG, Va. – A sixth-run sixth inning highlighted by a three-run home run by Chad Morgan pushed No. 22 Virginia Tech to a 13-2 victory over visiting Wake Forest in ACC action on Thursday night at English Field.
With the win, the Hokies improved to 34-19 overall and 14-14 in the ACC. Tech is 9-1 in its last 10 games overall and 7-3 in its last 10 ACC games, and has won five in a row at home. Wake Forest dropped to 28-26, 9-19 in the league and with the loss is out of ACC Baseball Championship contention.
The Demon Deacons actually opened the scoring in the first off Tech starter Joe Mantiply with back-to-back doubles by Mark Rhine and Pat Blair to make it 1-0.
Tyler Horan, who was 4-for-4 with a walk in the game and has 10 hits in his last 12 at-bats, tied the game up in the second with a solo home run, his 11th of the season and his fifth in the last three games.
The Hokies then responded to a Wake Forest run in the top of the fourth with three of their own in the home half of the frame as Horan doubled home both Chad Pinder and Mark Zagunis, who both walked, and later scored on a Morgan double.
It was the sixth that put the game away, as Tech sent 10 men to the plate and scored six times. With one out, Morgan hit his second home run of the year to make it 7-2, and then the Hokies tacked on runs on an RBI double by Kyle Wernicki, an RBI single by Alex Perez and an RBI grounder from Pinder.
Andrew Rash would plate two more on a three-hit night, while Zagunis (three runs), Horan (four runs, three RBI) and Morgan (four RBI) also had multi-hit games.
Mantiply improved to 5-0 on the season after tossing six frames and picked up career win No. 19, tying for the most by a Hokie pitcher since the team has been in the ACC.
He is also the only starting pitcher to ever post a perfect mark in ACC play and joins teammate Devin Burke (5-3), and Mathew Price (5-2, 2010) and Justin Wright (5-2, 2011) as the only pitchers with five ACC wins as a pitcher in a single season. It was also his 11th career ACC win, coming just shy of the 12 won by Wright.
Tech will face Wake Forest again two more times this weekend, looking to with its fourth straight ACC series. Friday’s game will start at 5:30, while Saturday’s begins at 2 p.m.
Additional Notes: Tech is also 12-2 in its last 14 games. As a ranked team, Tech is 18-10 overall this season, 11-3 at English Field, 17-4 against unranked teams. In his last three games, Horan is batting .833 with eight runs, 11 RBI and a 2.333 slugging percentage. Horan leads the team with eight game-winning RBI. The team is 21-3 this year with Alex Perez in the lead-off spot and 8-0 as the starting second baseman. The Hokies are 21-5 in games when they hit a home run. Horan tied a career-high with his four hits and four runs, while Morgan tied his career-high with four RBI. Rash had two doubles in the game, pushing his career total to 54 – just two behind Sean O’Brien (2004-08) for fifth-most in a Tech career. He has 20 doubles, while Horan has 21, and both men are within reaching the top five in single-season doubles with fifth being 22 by Alan El-Amin (1988) and Chad Pinder (2012). The game was delayed by 1:02 minutes due to lightning.
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