Three home runs spark Tech comeback that falls just short

(12) Virginia (28-8) 02511001010170
Virginia Tech (18-18) 0112001409140
  • EF at Union Park - 1,251

BLACKSBURG – Trailing by six runs early, the Virginia Tech baseball team mounted a late rally sparked by three home runs, and even had the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth. However, No. 12 Virginia closer Tommy Doyle got the final out by strikeout and the Cavaliers held on for a 10-9 victory over the Hokies in the first game of a three-game ACC series Thursday night at English Field at Union Park.

Entering the home half of the fourth, Tech was down 8-2 and had the bases loaded with two outs. An inning prior, the team had the bases loaded with no outs, but failed to capitalize on the opportunity. This time, though, Tom Stoffel came through with a two-RBI single to cut the deficit to four.

Virginia (28-8, 9-7 ACC) got a single run in the fifth only to see Sam Fragale launch his ACC-leading 14th home run of the season in the seventh, a solo shot, to make it a four-run game once again.

Tech (18-18, 6-10 ACC) came to bat in the eighth down 10-5 and quickly got one when Rahiem Cooper hit his ninth home run of the season to lead off the frame. Jack Owens followed with a single and was on second with two outs when Fragale singled him home to pull the Hokies to within three. For Fragale, the two hits in the contest marked his fifth straight multi-hit game and the RBI was the 99th in his Tech career, 52 this year.

JD Mundy made it a one-run game after hitting his fifth home run of the season, a two-run shot that forced the Cavaliers to make the call for Doyle.

He finished off the frame with a strikeout, but with two outs in the ninth, Cooper walked and moved to third on Owens’ third hit of the night, giving him 60 for the season. Owens stole second to put the game-winning run in scoring position, but Doyle finished the game with the strikeout to earn his 10th save of the year.

Inside the box score

  • Cooper: home run, ninth of the season, 10th of his career; double, fifth of the season, 12th of his career; three hits, eighth multi-hit game this season, 18th of his career; three runs, seventh multi-run scoring game this season, 14th of his career.
  • Fragale: home run, 14th of the season, 22nd of his career; two hits, 15th multi-hit game this season, 31st of his career; two RBI, 16th multi-RBI game this season, 29th of his career; two runs, eighth multi-run scoring game this season, 17th of his career.
  • Mundy: home run, fifth of the season and career; double, fifth of the season and career; two hits, fourth multi-hit game this season; two RBI, fourth multi-RBI game of the season; two runs, fifth multi-run scoring game this season.
  • Owens: three hits, 16th multi-hit game of the season and his career.
  • Tom Stoffel: start was the 100th of his Tech career; two RBI, 10th multi-RBI game this season, 23rd of his career.

More Tech notes

  • Hit three home runs to push its nation-leading total to 66 for the season – Wake Forest, who was second entering the day did not play. The 66 home runs are the second most ever his in a single season, as a member of the ACC. The record was set in 2010 at 81.
  • Was hit by three pitches in the game to increase its season total to 66. The Hokies were second in nation entering the game in HBPs trailing Campbell (65).

Up next

  • The Hokies continue their three-game ACC series against No. 12 Virginia at English Field at Union Park on Friday with a first pitch scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

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