Virginia Tech followed a mid-week pair of games in North Carolina with a three-game series against the Duke Blue Devils in the second conference series of the season for each team. Tech earned an extra innings win in the first game of the weekend, before blowing things wide open game two and taking the third game comfortably. The Hokies improved to 16-5 overall and 4-2 in the ACC, while Duke fell to 10-10, 2-4.
(Note: As is often the case in college baseball, players switch between positions from game to game, so they're tagged with what position they played in that particular game).
GAME 1 :: Virginia Tech 2, Duke 1, 11 inn. (Fri., March 15)
Virginia Tech threatened in the second inning with the bases loaded and no outs, but a strike out and a line-out double play ended that threat with no damage done. Duke got on the board first as Ryan Munger singled to bring in Grant McCabe with two outs in the second inning.
Alex Perez (SS) hit a solo home run to lead off the eighth inning and tie the game at 1. Duke put runners on first and second with one out, but relief pitcher Jake Joyce got out of the jam to force extra innings. Tyler Horan (LF) reached on a fielder's choice in the top of the 11th and advanced to third on a single by Andrew Rash (CF). Chad Morgan pinch hit for Matt Dauby and hit a single to plate Horan for the winning run.
Duke was able to put two runners on in the bottom half of the inning, but Joyce was able to get out of the jam again. Tech stranded nine runners on base and finished the game with 12 hits and two walks.
Joyce (3-1) struck out three and allowed just one hit and one walk over 2.2 innings for the win. Brad Markey allowed six hits, one run and five walks with five strikeouts over 8.1 innings before making way for Joyce.
Gary Schneider -- 3/5
Alex Perez -- 1/4, HR
Chad Morgan -- 1/1, RBI
WP: Jake Joyce (3-1): 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
LP: Andrew Ister (1-2): 4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 7 K
GAME 2 :: Virginia Tech 14, Duke 7 (Sat., March 16)
After an offensively challenged first game of the series, the two teams combined for 21 runs and 27 hits in game two. Horan (LF) tripled to score a pair of runs and then scored on a single by Zagunis (DH) and Perez (SS) tripled to score two more as the Hokies exploded for five in the first inning. Duke answered with a solo homer in each of the first and second innings. Sean Keselica (1B) walked with the bases loaded in the third and Horan scored on a sacrifice fly by Zagunis in the fourth. Chad Pinder (3B) scored on an error and Zagunis scored on a single by Brendon Hayden (2B) in the sixth. Duke added two in the sixth inning and a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to pull within three at 9-6.
Rash, Hayden and Morgan (C) each drove in a run in the eighth inning and Zagunis and Rash drove in a run each in the ninth inning to push Tech's lead to 14-6. Duke scored on a throwing error in the bottom of the ninth.
Devin Burke earned his fifth win of the season with five strikeouts, one walk and four runs on eight hits in 6.0 innings of work.
Mark Zagunis -- 2/3, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB
Andrew Rash -- 2/6, 2 R, 2 RBI
Tyler Horan -- 4/5, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB
Chad Pinder -- 1/4, 3 R, 2 BB
WP: Devin Burke (5-0): 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
LP: Drew Van Orden (1-2): 2.1 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
GAME 3 :: Virginia Tech 6, Duke 2 (Sun., March 17)
Andy Perez scored on a single by Jeff Kremer to put Duke up 1-0 after one inning, but Kyle Wernicki (RF) drove in Zagunis (DH) and Horan (LF) to give Tech a 2-1 lead after two. Kenny Koplove scored on a single by Mike Rosenfeld to tie the game at two in the third inning.
Zagunis scored for the second time on the day as he was singled in by Hayden (2B) in the sixth inning to break the tie. Horan hit a solo homer in the seventh inning and Rash hit a solo shot in the eighth. Hayden scored on an RBI-single by Perez (SS) in the eighth to give Tech a 6-2 lead.
Joe Mantiply earned his first win of the season, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out three over 5.0 innings. Clark Labitan earned the save with four strikeouts and three hits of scoreless relief work over 4.0 innings.
Tyler Horan -- 2/5, 2 R, HR, RBI
Andrew Rash -- 1/5, HR, R, RBI
Brendon Hayden -- 2/3, R, RBI, BB
Kyle Wernicki -- 1/3, 2 RBI, BB
WP: Joe Mantiply (1-0): 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 K
LP: Robert Huber (2-2): 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 8 K
S: Clark Labitan (4): 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Alex Perez -- 4/12, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB
Mark Zagunis -- 4/11, 3 R, 3 RBI, 3 BB
Andrew Rash -- 4/16, 3 R, 3 RBI
Tyler Horan -- 7/15, 6 R, 3 RBI, BB
Chad Pinder -- 4/13, 3 R, 2 BB
Which Hokie had the best series performance?
Alex Perez -- 4/12, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB (1 vote)
Mark Zagunis -- 4/11, 3 R, 3 RBI, 3 BB (0 votes)
Andrew Rash -- 4/16, 3 R, 3 RBI, HR (0 votes)
Tyler Horan -- 7/15, 6 R, 3 RBI, HR, BB (10 votes)
Chad Pinder -- 4/13, 3 R, 2 BB (0 votes)
Other (1 vote)
12 total votes