April 18, 2015
Hayden homers again in loss to Tar Heels
Senior drives in four in 11-10 loss to UNC
(23) North Carolina (24-15) 4020400101170
Virginia Tech (19-21) 40401100010141
  • English Field - 2,488

BLACKSBURG – A wild first five frames at English Field that saw No. 23 North Carolina and Virginia Tech combine to score 19 runs turned into a chess match late and had UNC use a sacrifice fly in the eighth to break a tie game and the Tar Heels held on for an 11-10 victory Saturday afternoon and evened the ACC series with the Hokies at one game apiece.

UNC (24-15, 10-10 ACC) benefitted from five straight walks and a hit batter in the first inning to score four runs only to see the Hokies tie the game in the home half of the frame.

Erik Payne singled home Mac Caples and Alex Perez before Brendon Hayden blasted his ninth home run of the season, a two-run shot, to even the game after one.

In the third, UNC plated a pair of runs and Tech answered with four more of its own to take an 8-6 lead. Hayden drove in Alex Perez and Payne with a double and came home on a Sean Keselica double. With the bases loaded, Mac Caples was hit by a pitch to plate Andrew Mogg for the Hokies' eighth run of the afternoon.

The Tar Heels put four more runs on the scoreboard in the fifth as they sent 10 men to the plate. Landon Lassiter knocked in two with a single and Elijah Sutherland brought home his third run of the game with a bases loaded HBP and UNC took a 10-8 lead.

With all those runs scored a number of different ways, small-ball would determine the rest.

Tech (19-21, 8-12 ACC) used a bunt and a ground ball to get Sam Fragale, who singled, to third with two outs in the fifth and Saige Jenco scored him with a single. In the sixth, Alex Perez, who walked, stole second with two outs and came home on a single by Keselica.

UNC, though, opened the eighth with a Sunderland double and moved him to third on a bunt. Brian Miller’s sacrifice fly to Payne brought in the go-ahead run and Trent Thornton, who was in his fourth inning of relief, closed out the game despite a two-out single by Ryan Tufts.

Jenco, Payne, Hayden, Keselica, Mogg and Tufts all had two hits in the game, while Payne and Hayden scored twice. Perez led the squad with three runs, while Hayden had the four RBIs and Payne and Keselica had two each.

For Perez, his single in the first extended his career-long hitting streak to 18 straight games, the longest at the school since 2009 – Steve Domecus, 24 straight.

The two teams will play the rubber match on Sunday with a change in start time. The game will now start at Noon as Tech will look first its first-ever series win against the Tar Heels.

For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter

HokieSports Shop