March 24, 2015
Hayden helps Hokies to win over Spartans
Tech gets 12-5 victory against Norfolk State
Norfolk State (6-10) 000014000580
Virginia Tech (13-12) 20003700X12101
  • English Field - 351

BLACKSBURG Brendon Hayden drove in four runs to help the Virginia Tech baseball team to a 12-5 nonconference victory over visiting Norfolk State on Tuesday night at English Field.

The Hokies, who improved to 13-12 on the season, turned a 5-5 contest into the seven-run victory in the home half of the sixth to cruise to the victory. Norfolk State dropped to 6-10 with the loss.

Tech jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one with Alex Perez and Hayden driving home runs. Saige Jenco scored after singling to lead off the frame and Rahiem Cooper, who drew a walk, also circled the bases.

In the fifth, the Hokies padded their lead with three runs. Ryan Tufts, who reached base after being hit by a pitch, scored on a Hayden single and Cooper crossed the plate again after an Erik Payne single. Hayden then came home after back-to-back wild pitches to make it 5-1.

However, Norfolk State (6-10) battled back to tie the game in the fifth as the Spartans sent eight men to the plate. Syeed Mahdi hit a two-RBI single in the inning, while Ryan Kilmon and Omar Hotusing each also drove in a run.

The tie was short lived, though, as the Hokies answered in the home half of the frame with seven runs on just five hits as 12 men went to the plate. Sean Keselica led off the inning with his 150th career Tech hit and later singled home a pair, while Hayden also had a two-RBI single, matching his career-high for RBIs in a game.

In his first career start, Connor Coward tossed five innings and struck out five batters. He held the Spartans scoreless for four frames before surrendering an unearned run in the fifth. Sean Kennedy threw the final 3.2 innings against Norfolk State scoreless with six strikeouts, tying his career high, to pick up the win on the mound. He is now 1-2, while the Spartans’ Cooper Jones (0-1) took the loss.

The Hokies return to action on Wednesday night as they host East Tennessee State at English Field with a 5:30 p.m. first pitch.

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