Hokies upend top-ranked Florida State to even ACC series
After rain delay, Tech offense outscores Seminoles 9-2 to get the win
March 18, 2017
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|Virginia Tech (12-9)||2||0||0||5||0||4||0||2||X||13||13||0|
BLACKSBURG – The Hokies were trailing No. 1 Florida State 10-4 in the bottom of the fourth inning, before Mother Nature decided to make her presence felt at English Field at Union Park. A 90-minute rain delay sparked the Virginia Tech offense as it outscored the Seminoles 9-2 the rest of the way and registered a 13-12 victory in ACC action on Saturday afternoon.
The win helped the Hokies even their series with FSU at one game each. It also marked the first time the Hokies beat a No. 1 team since 2015, when they swept Virginia in a three-game series in Blacksburg (March 13-15), which was also the last time they played a No. 1 team.
The fourth inning – which had Tech down 10-2 – actually started with a Mac Caples’ home run and a Jack Owens’ two-out RBI double before the lightning moved too close to the area. Ryan Tufts finished off a walk he started before the delay and Tom Stoffel blasted his fourth home run of the year, a three-run shot to pull Tech to within 10-7. The hit was also Stoffel’s 100th career hit for the Hokies.
Tech (12-9, 2-3 ACC) used a four-run sixth, highlighted by a Sam Fragale two-RBI double – his 100th career hit for Tech – and capped by a Caples’ RBI double, to take their first lead of the series at 11-10. The Hokies added two more insurance runs in the eighth on Joe Freiday, Jr.rsquo;s first career triple, which scored pinch-runner Grant Maiorana and Caples.
However, Florida State (14-6, 3-2 ACC) did not go quietly in the ninth. Rhett Aplin hit a two-run home run to cut his team’s deficit to one and Tyler Daughtry moved all the way to third after a two-out walk.
Aaron McGarity, who was in to close the game after Connor Coward tossed four scoreless innings of relief after the rain delay, got JC Flowers to fly out to center to pick up his fourth save of the year. Coward improved to 4-0 with the win out of the bullpen.
Inside the box score
- Freiday, Jr.: triple, first of his career; two RBI, third multi-RBI game of the season, seventh of his career.
- Caples: home run, fourth of the season, eighth of his career; double, first of the season, fifth of his career; two hits, second multi-hit game of the season, 12th of his career; two RBI, second multi-RBI game of the season, seventh of his career; two runs, third multi-run scoring game of the season, seventh of his career.
- Coward: four scoreless innings, pushing season total to a team-high 21 and has thrown the last 10.0 consecutively, a career-long; also leads the team with four wins.
- Fragale: double, seventh of the season, 22nd of his career; two RBI, 10th multi-RBI game of the season, 23rd of his career.
- JD Mundy: double, third of the season and his career.
- Owens: double, sixth of the season and career; career-high tying four hits (third time this season) which also extended his team-high, and career-long, hitting streak to 12 straight games; it was his 10th career multi-hit game; two runs, eighth multi-run scoring game of his career.
- Stoffel: home run, fourth of the season, sixth of his career; two hits, ninth multi-hit game of the season, 27th of his career; season-high four RBI, sixth multi-RBI game of the season, 19th of his career; two runs, fifth multi-run scoring game of the season, 12th of his career.
- Tufts: double, seventh of the season, 32nd of his career; two hits, ninth multi-hit game of the season, 37th of his career; season-high tying three runs scored, ninth multi-run scoring game of the season, 24th of his career.
More Tech notes
- Turned two more double plays and now have 28 for the season. The Hokies were leading the country entering the weekend (New Mexico had 23). They were both turned behind Andrew McDonald, who leads the team with seven GDPs this year.
- Hit two home runs, the 10th time this season the team has hit at least two in a game and are 7-3 in such games. The team was also tied for first in the nation entering the weekend in home runs hit (have now hit 35) with fellow ACC school Wake Forest. The 35 home runs are more than the team hit last season (34) and are tie with the output of the 2014 squad.
- Scored 10-plus runs for the fifth time this season (4-1) and are 12-2 this season when scoring six or more.
- Improved to 5-4 in the last nine games against Florida State, including 4-2 outside of Tallahassee, Florida.
- Improved to 12-2 when playing at home on March 18, which also includes a win over No. 1 Florida State back in 2006 (9-7).
- Improved to 7-21 when playing a No. 1-ranked team, which includes a 6-13 mark in Blacksburg.
- The two teams will conclude the ACC series in Blacksburg with the final game scheduled for Sunday with a 1 p.m. first pitch.
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