CLEMSON, S.C. – Virginia Tech baseball battled back from a five-run deficit to tie its ACC opener at No. 15 Clemson Friday evening at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in the eighth inning at 6-6 only to see the host Tigers win the game with an RBI fielder’s choice in the ninth.
Tech starter Brad Markey, who pitched into the ninth, allowed a leadoff double in the frame to Jay Baum and he moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Luke Scherzer struck out pinch hitter Mike Dunston and got Tyler Slaton to hit a grounder, but a throw to the plate saw Baum get in under the tag and give the Tigers the victory.
Three unearned runs helped give the Tigers a 4-0 lead after five innings and a Steve Wilkerson solo home run in the sixth made it 5-0.
Clemson’s Daniel Gossett had a no-hitter going through the first five innings before Tom Stoffel singled off the starter, a hit that loaded the bases. The Hokies came up empty in the frame, but finally chased Gossett in the seventh after putting runners on the corners with no outs – Brendon Hayden doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and Sean Keselica drew a walk.
After Clemson pushed its lead to 6-3 in the home half of the seventh, Tech continued to bully the Tiger bullpen. A leadoff single by Alex Perez in the eighth was followed with Mark Zagunis reaching by an error. Hayden then smacked his third home run of the year to tie the game.
The Hokies would eventually reload the bases in the frame, but Matt Campbell would get the final out of the frame and pitched a perfect ninth to improve to 2-0 this season. Markey, who struck out eight in the game, saw his record drop to 2-2.
The two teams will be back in action on Saturday with a scheduled game starting at 1 p.m.
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