May 3, 2015
Hayden with another walk off as Tech sweeps Boston College
Bottom of ninth two-run home run is the difference in 2-1 victory
Boston College (24-24) 000000100150
Virginia Tech (25-24) 000000002260
  • English Field - 1,340

BLACKSBURG – A classic pitchers’ duel ended with a Brendon Hayden two-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth that lifted the Virginia Tech baseball team to a 2-1 victory over Boston College in the final game of a three-game series Sunday afternoon at English Field.

The win, Tech’s sixth straight overall and fourth in conference, finished off a sweep over the Eagles as the Hokies have now won nine straight at home against Boston College – sweeping them in 2010 and 2012, as well.

With the victory, Tech improves to 25-24 overall and more importantly, 12-14 in the ACC, which ties for the third-most wins ever in an ACC season at the school with the 2009 program (2010 – 16, 2013 – 15). Boston College is now 24-24 overall, and 9-17 in the league.

Both starting pitchers went unscathed through the first six innings of the contest. Tech’s starter Packy Naughton actually was perfect entering the sixth, but lost both the perfect game and a no-hitter with two outs on a single by Gabriel Hernandez. Naughton, who retired the last five Duke batters he faced a week ago, sat down 22 straight before the single.

Hernandez would be caught stealing to end the sixth, but the Eagles would tag Naughton for his only run of the afternoon – and first in over 13 innings of work dating back to last Sunday – on an RBI double by Blake Butera that scored Jake Palomaki.

Naughton would finish his day with two outs in the top of the ninth – as the Eagles had put a runner on second for the third straight inning. Aaron McGarity got the call from the pen and delivered the final out of the frame with a strikeout sending the game to the bottom of the ninth with BC clinging to a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth, Tech’s first four batters would have been seniors Alex Perez, Hayden, Erik Payne and Sean Keselica – four players who have delivered seven walk-off wins in their careers at Tech. Add in senior Kyle Wernicki and that would make it eight.

Justin Dunn, BC’s closer, came in from the pen and walked Perez on five pitches to start the frame and then Hayden smacked a 1-0 pitch off the scoreboard to register his third career walk off. Hayden had three of the six Hokie hits in the game and was a triple shy of the cycle.

McGarity got the win and is now 4-4, while Naughton, who went 8.2 innings, allowed five hits, one run and struck out four did not factor in the decision. Dunn took the loss and is now 4-3, while BC starter Jesse Adams (6.2, 5H, 4K) was in line for the win before the home run.

The Hokies will take a day off before returning to the field on Tuesday with a nonconference game against West Virginia. The home contest is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. first pitch.

QUICK NOTES: The Hokies’ last four-game ACC winning streak was during the 2013 season, when they had a pair … This is the first time in ACC play that Tech has swept two series in the same season – they also swept Virginia at home … Tech’s 9-4 ACC home mark in 2015 is the second-best in its 11 seasons in the league (2010, 11-4) … This is the eighth walk-off victory under head coach Patrick Mason, which includes four in the ACC this season … In fact, Tech notched a walk-off win in four of the five home ACC weekends this season and had a chance in the 11-10 setback versus UNC … Hayden's walk-off home run was the first in ACC regular season play since Austin Wates hit a 10th-inning home run to beat No. 10 Virginia 5-4 on May 14, 2009 ... With Naughton’s start today, Tech has now started a lefty on the mound for eight straight ACC games and 14-of-15 (McGarity, RHP, at Miami, 4/12).

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