Tech falters against Florida State in ACC home opener

(1) Florida State (14-5) 000104400980
Virginia Tech (11-9) 000001010261
  • EF at Union Park - 153

BLACKSBURG – The Florida State Seminoles turned a pitcher’s duel through five innings into a 9-2 victory on Friday afternoon at English Field at Union Park, as they plated four runs in back-to-back frames and handed Virginia Tech a loss in its ACC home opener.

The Hokies’ starter Packy Naughton battled FSU starter Cole Sands almost even over the first five frames. Naughton had allowed just a solo home run in the fourth and struck out eight – one below his career high. Sands surrendered two hits through five and had six strikeouts.

However, No. 1 Florida State (14-5, 3-1 ACC) tagged Naughton for four runs in the sixth, which included a two-run triple by JC Flowers to take a 5-0 lead. In the seventh, Quincy Nieporte hit his third grand slam of the season to put the Seminoles well in front.

Tech (11-9, 1-3 ACC) chased Sands in the bottom of the fifth when they had runners on first and second with one out. JD Mundy drew a two-out walk and Mac Caples was hit by a pitch to bring home Jack Owens to put the Hokies on the board at 5-1.

The rest of the way, though, they managed just a Mundy sac fly that scored Sam Fragale, who tripled, in the eighth.

Inside the box score

  • Dylan Hall: two scoreless innings of relief, four of his five have been scoreless this year.
  • Fragale: triple, third of the season, fourth of his career; two hits, eighth multi-hit game of the season, 24th of his career; 99 career hits in a Tech uniform.
  • Joe Freiday, Jr.: double, first of the season, 11th of his career; two hits, sixth multi-hit game of the season, 14th of his career.
  • Garrett Hudson: double, third of the season, sixth of his career.
  • Naughton: season-high 6.0 innings pitched; eight strikeouts, one shy of his career high of nine, done twice (including last week at Duke); struck out the side in the fifth, first time this season, fourth time in his career.
  • Owens: single in the sixth extended his team-high, and career-long, hitting streak to 11 straight games.
  • Kit Scheetz: made his 50th career appearance in the seventh frame.

More Tech notes

  • Turned two more double plays and now have 26 for the season. The Hokies were leading the country entering the day (New Mexico had 23 entering the weekend).
  • Were hit by two pitches, to bring season total to 37, which is the second most in the country.
  • Lost for the first time in four seasons in its ACC home opener.

Up next

  • The two teams will continue the ACC series in Blacksburg with the second game of the set scheduled for Saturday with a 1 p.m. first pitch.

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