April 21, 2015
Payne hits two homers in loss at Radford
Hokies fall to Highlanders 7-4
Virginia Tech (19-22) 000001030471
Radford (26-13) 00202300X7121
  • RU Baseball Stadium - 507

RADFORD, Va. – Erik Payne hit a pair of home runs, but it wasn’t enough as the Virginia Tech baseball team lost a 7-4 decision to the host Radford Highlanders Tuesday night in nonconference action at RU Baseball Stadium.

Payne drove in all the Hokies runs in the contest, hitting a two-out solo home run in the sixth frame on the first pitch, then connected on a 1-2 pitch in the eighth to hit another two-out home run, but this one was a three-run shot.

He became the first Tech player to hit two home runs in the same game since Chad Pinder hit a pair against Virginia on May 22, 2013 in the first game of the ACC Tournament that season in Durham, N.C.

Radford (26-13) took a 4-0 lead before Payne’s first home run as the Highlanders scored a pair in the third of Tech starter Packy Naughton, then added two more in the fifth off Jon Woodcock.

They answered Payne’s round tripper with three in the bottom of the sixth after Tech reliever Luke Scherzer had actually started the frame with back-to-back strikeouts.

Chris Coia started the two-out rally with the second of three singles on the night. Josh Gardiner was hit by a pitch and Shane Johnsonbaugh drew a walk to load the bases. Josh Reavis hit a two-RBI single to push his total to three RBIs for the night and Patrick Marshall followed with an RBI single to make it 7-1.

Tech (19-22) got a leadoff single by Sean Keselica to start the eighth, one of two hits for him, be he was erased on a double play. In the ninth, Ryan Tufts singled for his second hit of the game and Saige Jenco doubled to put runners on second and third with no outs. After back-to-back strikeouts looking, Payne hit his home run that would finish off Tech’s scoring.

The game also saw Alex Perez go hitless in three at-bats, ending his career-long 18-game hitting streak, the longest at the school since Steve Domecus’ 24-gamer in 2009. He did draw a walk in the first, extending his reached base streak to 19 games.

The Hokies will take a couple days off before heading down to Durham, N.C., to face Duke in a three-game ACC series starting on Friday at 6 p.m. Of note, all three games will be played at Jack Coombs Field, the on-campus baseball field of the Blue Devils.

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