ATLANTA, Ga. – With a strikeout looking and caught stealing double play to end the game, Virginia Tech defeated Georgia Tech 7-6 in the final contest of a three-game ACC series at Russ Chandler Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Yellow Jackets had already plated one run in the ninth and had runners on first and second with just one out. Tanner McIntyre was called in from the pen and on a 3-2 pitch – with the home team’s runners trying to get a running start – McIntyre struck out Grant Wruble and Mark Zagunis came up throwing to third and caught Connor Justus to end the contest.
Virginia Tech improved to 19-27-1 overall and 8-19 in the ACC with the victory, while the Yellow Jackets fell to 28-20 overall and 14-12 in the league.
The Hokies jumped out to an early four-run lead in the top of the first as Brendon Hayden knocked in Kyle Wernicki – his 40th RBI of the year – for the game’s first run. Later, with the bases loaded, Logan Bible hit a two-out, three-RBI double that cleared the bases and made it 4-0.
The Yellow Jackets responded with two of their own in the bottom of the frame with Daniel Spingola knocking in Mott Hyde with a triple and then scoring on a Matt Gonzalez single.
Both starting pitchers settled down over the next four frames. Yellow Jacket starter Ben Parr retired 13 straight after the Bible double, and Hokies’ starter Kit Scheetz scattered a couple hits and worked around a walk and error to strand six Yellow Jacket base runners through five innings.
However, the Hokies got to Parr in the sixth as a leadoff single by Zagunis was followed by back-to-back singles by Hayden and Phil Sciretta, the second plating Zagunis, and they increased their lead to 5-2.
Georgia Tech responded with two in the home half of the sixth, which also chased Scheetz. A costly one-out error allowed one unearned run to score when Arden Pabst hit a two-RBI single to cut his team’s deficit down to one.
The Hokies, though, padded their lead back to three in the seventh on a two-RBI single by Zagunis, his second of three hits on the afternoon, that scored Ricky Surum and Ryan Tufts. It marked Zagunis’ team-leading 20th multi-hit game of the season and his team-high tying 11th multi-RBI contest.
Luke Scherzer, who relieved Scheetz in the sixth, got the final two outs of the inning and threw a scoreless seventh. The Yellow Jackets got one run off of him in the eight and then a second in the ninth, prompting the move to the McIntyre.
Kit Scheetz improved to 4-1 with the win as McIntyre notched his second save of the year. Parr dropped to 4-2 with the loss.
Tech takes Monday off before heading to Princeton, W.Va. on Tuesday evening to play a neutral site game against West Virginia at H.P. Hunnicutt Field – home of the Princeton Rays.
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