BLACKSBURG – Sean Keselica threw a career-high 7.1 innings and struck out a career-high tying six batters while holding the Maryland Terrapins lineup in check as the Virginia Tech Hokies registered a 3-1 victory Friday night in ACC action at English Field.
Keselica, who was making his first career Friday start, scattered five hits and allowed just one run – ironically on arguably the greatest catch of the season by Ricky Surum – as he picked up the win to improve to 3-2 on the season.
Brad Markey, the usual Friday starter, came in from the bullpen and tossed the final 1.2 innings, allowed one hit and struck out one. It was just his third appearance in a Tech uniform in relief as he earned his first career save with the effort.
Maryland (20-12, 6-9 ACC) put the first run on the board in the top of the fifth when Kevin Martir and Michael Montville led off the inning with back-to-back singles and moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt.
With Brandon Lowe at the plate, Keselica got him to pop the ball into shallow left field. Surum, playing at short, made an incredible diving play to record the out, saving probably one run, but Martir did score on the sacrifice fly. (Here is a link to the video)
Tech (16-16-1, 6-10 ACC) had at least one hit in every inning except the eighth, but also left four men on base through the first four frames. The Hokies responded to the Terrapins' single run with two of their own in the home half of the fifth
It appeared Jenco had scored on a Mark Zagunis’ double, but umpires ruled it a ground-rule double when the ball hit the foul pole, rather than the wall, and came back on to the field. Jenco, however, would come home a couple pitches later on a passed ball and put Tech up 2-0.
Maryland threatened in the sixth with runners on the corners with two outs, but Keselica got Montville to hit a popup into foul ground, which Keselica caught to end the frame.
He then put it upon himself to add an insurance run for Tech, hitting a triple that scored Phil Sciretta to make it 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth.
In the eighth, Markey came in with a runner on first with one out and Jose Cuas quickly hit a single and Maryland had the tying runs on base. After a grounder to second moved them both into scoring position, a grounder to short ended that threat. A perfect ninth ended the game.
Jenco ended the night 3 for 3, while Zagunis and Keselica each had two hits.
The two teams will play the second game the three-game ACC series on Saturday with a scheduled 2 p.m. first pitch.
For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter Follow @VT_Baseball