BLACKSBURG – No. 24 Miami scored six runs over the last two innings to erase a 7-2 lead by the Virginia Tech baseball team and escaped English Field with an 8-7 victory on Friday night in the first of a three-game ACC series.
The Hurricanes (19-12, 9-4 ACC) plated four runs in the eighth frame, the big hit a two-RBI single by Brad Zunica and Brandon Lopez’ sac fly pulled them to within 7-6.
The Hokies (14-13-1, 5-8 ACC) had a chance to plate an insurance run in the home half of the eighth when Mark Zagunis, who went 2 for 4, doubled and tried to score on a Kyle Wernicki single, but was thrown out at home.
Miami tied the game in the top of the ninth on an RBI double by Tyler Palmer and he scored the go-ahead run on a single by Zack Collins, who went 3 for 5 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Tech trailed 1-0 entering the bottom of the second, but scored one in the second – off the bat of Wernicki, Brandon Hayden came home – and three in the third with Sean Keselica and Tom Stoffel picking up RBIs.
After Miami cut the deficit to 4-2 with a run in the sixth, the Hokies added three runs in the bottom of the seventh, the key hit a two-out, two-RBI triple by Miguel Ceballos, who then scored when Saige Jenco singled as well.
The loss for Tech ruined a solid start from Brad Markey, who went seven innings, allowed two runs on five hits and struck out three. Miami starter Chris Diaz tossed his shortest outing of the year, going just four frames.
Cooper Hammond improved to 4-0 as he was credited with the win, while Bryan Garcia picked up his eighth save of the year. Alex Perez was saddled with the loss and is now 0-1.
Hayden, Keselica and Ceballos all matched Zagunis with a two-hit evening as Hayden and Keselica both scored twice as well. Jenco had just the one hit, but extended his team-leading hitting streak to 12 games.
The two teams will play the middle game of the series on Saturday with a 2 p.m. scheduled first pitch.
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