Stoffel leads comeback effort in victory over William & Mary

William & Mary (15-36) 0030221008151
Virginia Tech (21-30) 00000343X10101
  • EF at Union Park - 241

BLACKSBURG – Trailing 7-0 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, the Virginia Tech baseball team erupted for 10 runs over three frames and completed a 10-8 comeback victory over the visiting William & Mary Tribe on Tuesday night in nonconference action at English Field at Union Park.

Senior Tom Stoffel, playing in his last home game, sparked the comeback going 4-for-4, with a two-run home run, driving in three RBI in all and crossing the plate three times; his last one in the eighth tied the game on an RBI double by classmate Sam Fragale.

After an intentional walk to JD Mundy, Nick Menken then singled home Fragale with the go-ahead run and Michael Fernandez, who had a season-high three RBI, placed down a perfectly executed squeeze play that brought home Mundy as an insurance run.

It would not be needed as senior Connor Coward, appearing in his first game out of the bullpen this season, shut the door on the Tribe and closed out the Tech home slate earning his first save of the year, the second of his career.

William & Mary (15-36) used the arm of starter Nick Butts, five innings of one-hit ball, and 14 hits of their own, highlighted by a pair of two-run home runs, to jump out to a 7-0 lead.

However, the Hokies jumped all over the Tribe bullpen, first cutting their deficit to 7-3 in the home half of the sixth – Stoffel, Fernandez and Nick Owens all driving in one run before William & Mary got one back in the top of the seventh.

Tech (21-30) answered with a four spot after the inning break, two coming off the bat of Stoffel’s 17th career home run – a team-high tying eighth of the season – while Fernandez and Owens again added a single RBI.

Nic Enright (3-3) worked a scoreless top of the eighth – thanks, in part, to a baserunning mistake by the Tribe. A sacrifice fly appeared to give the visitor’s another run, but Zach Pearson, who singled to lead off the frame, was doubled off third when Tech appealed and he was ruled to have left early.

Stoffel then started the eighth-inning rally with a one-out infield single, beating Tribe pitcher Michael Toner to the bag on a chopper to first. Fragale followed with the 196th hit of his Tech career and the 152nd RBI that tied the game before scoring the game winner.

The Hokies will complete their regular season with a three-game ACC set in Chapel Hill as they face the sixth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels in a series that starts Thursday at 6 p.m.

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