March 22, 2015
Hokies walk off in 12th against Clemson
Rahiem Cooper drives home game winner in 4-3 victory
Clemson (11-11) 300000000000371
Virginia Tech (12-12) 1010000100014103
  • English Field - 1,484

BLACKSBURG – In the bottom of the 12th in a 3-3 contest, Rahiem Cooper, with one out and the bases loaded, hit a hard ground ball to second and Kyle Wernicki, who was on third, beat the throw home and the Virginia Tech baseball team defeated the Clemson Tigers on Sunday afternoon, 4-3, in the final game of a three-game set at English Field.

The win improves Tech to 5-4 in the ACC, which ties them for the best start in program history after nine games to an ACC season (2013 and 2014). They are now 12-12 overall, while Clemson dropped to 11-11 overall and 4-5 in the ACC.

For the Hokies to get the walk-off victory, their sixth under head coach Patrick Mason and their third this season, the pitching staff had to rebound after allowing three first-inning runs that were scored due to a couple costly errors.

Tech starter Jon Woodcock shook off the first frame and finished his day with six straight scoreless frames. He went seven full innings and struck out five batters, while the Hokies cut into their early deficit.

Saige Jenco scored in the first inning after tripling to lead off the inning, his first collegiate triple, and coming home on a Wernicki grounder. Alex Perez doubled in third and scored on a two-out single by Erik Payne.

The Hokies got the equalizer in the eighth, when they loaded the bases with two outs. Pinch hitter Phil Sciretta was facing the fourth Clemson pitcher of the inning – Clate Schmidt, who delivered a wild pitch allowing Payne to score from third.

The Tech pen took over for Woodcock in the eighth and picked up where he left off. Luke Scherzer struck out five in 3.2 innings of work and Chris Monaco came up big for the Hokies in two key situations.

He was brought into a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the 11th and got a liner to Perez, and in the 12th allowed a one-out triple that would not cross the plate.

In Tech’s 12th, Wernicki led off the frame with a single and moved to second on a bunt by Perez. Brendon Hayden was intentionally walked and Payne followed with a single, his third hit of the afternoon, before Cooper’s heroics.

Perez and Hayden each also had two hits in the game.

Monaco picked up his first collegiate win for his effort, while Schmidt took the loss.

The Hokies will be back in action with two more home midweek games starting at 5:30. They will face Norfolk State on Tuesday and East Tennessee State on Wednesday.

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