April 29, 2015
Sullivan goes eight in 3-0 shutout of NC A&T
Becomes third straight freshman pitcher to earn win on mound
North Carolina A&T (8-34) 0000000000101
Virginia Tech (22-24) 10002000X391
  • English Field - 173

BLACKSBURG – Joey Sullivan made it three-in-a-row for freshman starting pitchers as he pitched a career-high eight scoreless frames and helped the Virginia Tech baseball team to a 3-0 victory over North Carolina A&T on Wednesday evening in nonconference action at English Field.

With the victory on the mound, Sullivan matches fellow true freshman pitchers Packy Naughton and Connor Coward with picking up a win on the mound as a starter, something the other two did in Tech’s last two games. The trio becomes the only three freshman starting pitchers to win back-to-back-to-back decisions over the past decade.

In fact, since Tech joined the ACC in 2005 only once before have three freshmen pitchers won starts on the mound in the same season, which was back in 2008. Justin Wright won two, while Jesse Hahn and Sean McDermott each won one – ironically back-to-back on March 1 and 2 versus Central Connecticut State and Binghamton, respectively.

It wasn’t easy for Sullivan, though, as he scattered 10 hits, but did not walk a single batter and struck out four. He faced a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth and got a pair of strikeouts and shut down the Aggies offense with runners in scoring position (0-for-9) all night.

Tech (22-24) gave Sullivan a 1-0 lead in the first on a sacrifice fly by Brendon Hayden that scored Mac Caples. In the fifth, the Hokies got a little more breathing room with a two-out rally. Hayden drew a bases-loaded walk scoring Caples, again, and Erik Payne singled home Kyle Wernicki to make it 3-0.

It was Sullivan and Aaron McGarity the rest of the way. In the sixth and seventh, NC A&T had runners on the corners with two outs, but Sullivan got out of the jams and in the ninth, McGarity tossed seven pitches to pick up his first save of the year, the second of his career.

Sullivan improved to 1-3 on the season, while Aggie starter B. Smith dropped to 2-3.

NC A&T (8-34) used five pitchers in the game and kept their team within striking distance but could never get the key hit as they also went 2-for-10 with two outs.

The Hokies return to action this weekend as they welcome Boston College to English Field for a three-game ACC weekend. The series starts on Friday at 5:30 p.m.

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