May 2, 2015
Payne, Ponzurick lead Tech to 6-3 victory over Boston College
Hokies claim the series over the Eagles with fifth straight win
Boston College (24-23) 0020100003110
Virginia Tech (24-24) 40000002X662
  • English Field - 1,284

BLACKSBURG – Erik Payne’s grand slam in the first and Max Ponzurick’s two-out, two-RBI single in the eighth helped the Virginia Tech baseball team claim a 6-3 victory, and the series win, over the Boston College Eagles on Saturday afternoon in ACC action at English Field.

With the win, Tech extended its longest winning streak in two years to five straight games. The last time the Hokies won five straight was during the end of the 2013 regular season – a streak that extended to eight straight with three wins in the ACC Baseball Championship. It also marked the eighth straight win for Tech over Boston College at English Field.

Tech evened its record to 24-24 overall and 11-14 in the ACC, while the Eagles dropped their record to 24-23 overall and 9-16 in the league.

Payne gave the Hokies a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first with his grand slam to centerfield that drove in Saige Jenco, Rahiem Cooper (both singled) and Brendon Hayden (walk). The grand slam was the first for a Hokie since April 16, 2011 when Ronnie Shaban hit one versus Florida State.

Tech’s bats then went silent for almost the next six frames, getting just one single over the span and drawing a pair of walks. The walks were eliminated on double play balls (in the third and fourth) and the single started what would be a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the sixth.

However, Boston College starter John Gorman struck out the final two batters to end the threat, two of his nine on the day.

Meanwhile, the Eagles chipped away at the Tech lead, getting two in the third and one in the fifth. The Hokies defense, though, turned three double plays in the game, of which two were a bit unusual – a 5-2-5 in the first and a 4-5 in the sixth. The Eagles, who stranded 12 runners on base, had the tying run on second or third in the third, fifth, sixth and eighth.

In the bottom of the eighth, Ponzurick gave the Hokies some insurance runs as he singled to center to score Alex Perez and Hayden.

Luke Scherzer, in his second inning of relief, would see the tying run come to the plate with one out in the ninth after a leadoff single and a one-out walk. He would get a strikeout and a fly out to end the game and pick up his fourth save of the year. Sean Keselica improved to 5-3 with the win while Gorman dropped his record to 4-4.

The teams will play the series’ final game on Sunday with a 1 p.m. start. The Hokies will honor their graduating seniors on the field about 15 minutes before the contest.

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