Tech Hammers Liberty, Goes 1-2 Against Miami

English Field during Tuesday's match-up with Liberty. - ME, LEAVE ME ALONE

The Hokies were back in the rankings at No. 24 this week (expect that to change) and walloped Liberty on a blustery and cold day at English Field (see above). On Friday, they headed down to Miami for a three-game series against the Hurricanes. Things didn't go as well as the Hokies would have liked, but they were able to salvage a game and move to 18-7, 4-5 on the season. The two losses weren't awful though, as the Hokies made a valiant ninth-inning comeback attempt in game one and were held to two hits in game two after an excellent Miami pitching performance.

(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 16, Liberty 6 (Tues., March 19)

Virginia Tech vs. Liberty (14-7)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
LIBERTY 0 0 2 0 1 1 1 0 1 6 13 2
VIRGINIA TECH 5 0 1 7 3 0 0 0 x 16 15 1

Tuesday's game against Liberty was unkind to pitchers as the two teams combined for 22 runs on 28 hits and five home runs. The wind wreaked havoc on both teams, including a home run in Virginia Tech's favor that was pushed from foul territory to fair.

Tech got on the board first with a two-run homer from Kyle Wernicki (RF) (that I just missed seeing by probably 30 seconds) and Mark Zagunis (C) tripled to bring in Tyler Horan (LF) and Chad Pinder (3B). Zagunis then scored on a sacrifice fly by Brendon Hayden (2B) to put Tech up 5-0 after one. Liberty cut into the lead with two in the bottom of the third inning, but Tech answered with a solo homer from Zagunis in the third and seven runs in the fourth. Gary Schneider (1B) scored on an error and Horan drove in Alex Perez (SS) with a ground out. Zagunis plated Wernicki with a sacrifice fly and Andrew Rash (CF) hit a two-run homer. Sean Keselica (P) capped the scoring in the fourth with a two-run shot of his own, putting Tech up 13-2.

Liberty got a run in the fifth inning, but Rash doubled in Pinder and Wernicki in the bottom half of the inning. Horan scored on a RBI-single by Hayden to give Tech a 16-3 lead.

Liberty scored on an RBI-double, a solo homer, and an RBI-single to put the game at the final 16-6 score.

Keselica earned the win with eight hits and two walks over six innings. Blake Fulghum allowed five runs on four hits before registering the first out of the game in the loss.

Offensive highlights (basically the whole team):

Kyle Wernicki -- 2-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, HR
Chad Pinder -- 3-5, 3 R, BB, 2B
Tyler Horan -- 2-4, 2 R, RBI, 2B
Mark Zagunis -- 2-3, 2 R, 4 RBI, 3B, HR
Andrew Rash -- 2-4, R, 4 RBI, BB, 2B, HR
Brendon Hayden -- 1-3, R, 2 RBI
Sean Keselica -- 1-3, 2 RBI, R, BB, HR

WP: Sean Keselica (2-0): 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
LP: Blake Fulghum (1-1): 0.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 K

GAME 2 :: Miami 11, Virginia Tech 9 (Fri., March 22)

Virginia Tech at Miami (17-7, 2-4)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
VIRGINIA TECH 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 9 11 2
MIAMI 0 1 4 0 0 0 3 3 x 11 10 1

Tech opened the scoring as Horan (LF) singled in Schneider (RF) and Keselica (1B) scored on a fielder's choice by Zagunis(C) and the Hokies led 2-0 after one. Miami scored once in the second and took the lead in the third with four runs, highlighted by a two-RBI triple from Ricky Eusebio. David Thompson singled in two runs as part of a three-run seventh inning for Miami and Eusebio doubled in two runs as the Canes added three in the eighth.

Tech trailed 11-2 heading into the top of the ninth, but a bases-loaded to Perez (SS) started the comeback attempted. Ryan Burns (PH) singled to score Hayden (2B), Pinder (3B) doubled in Perez and Wernicki (PH) and Horan doubled in Pinder and Burns. Logan Bible (PH) reached on a throwing error to put the Hokies within two. The game ended as Andrew Rash, the potential tying run, struck out with Bible on first.

Chris Diaz earned the win with six strikeouts and two runs surrendered on seven hits over 8.0 innings. Brad Markey was tabbed with the loss after allowing eight runs on seven hits and three walks over 6.2 innings.

Offensive Highlights:

Sean Keselica -- 2-5, R
Chad Pinder -- 3-5, 2 RBI, R, 2B
Tyler Horan -- 3-5, 3 RBI, R, 2B

WP: Chris Diaz (3-1): 8.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
LP: Brad Markey (2-2): 6.2 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
S: Eric Nedeljkovic: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

GAME 3 :: Miami 2, Virginia Tech 0 (Sat., March 32)

Virginia Tech at Miami
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
VIRGINIA TECH 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
MIAMI 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 x 2 6 0

After an explosive first two games of the week, the Hokies were silenced by a brilliant pitching performance from Bryan Radziewski. Radziewski held the Hokies to just two hits, walked one, hit one batter and struck out 16 Hokies in a complete game effort.

Tech's Devin Burke turned in a pretty solid performance on the mound, but was dealt his first loss of the year. Burke allowed just one earned run on three walks and six hits over 7.0 innings with three strikeouts.

Garrett Kennedy scored on a triple by Chris Barr in the fifth inning and Dale Carey scored on a fielding error in the seventh inning to give Miami a 2-0 win.

Gary Schneider and Chad Morgan earned one hit each for the Hokies in the loss.

Offensive Highlights:

Gary Schneider -- 1-4
Chad Morgan -- 1-3

WP: Bryan Radziewski (3-0): 9.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 16 K
LP: Devin Burke (5-1): 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB 3 K

GAME 4 :: Virginia Tech 8, Miami 5, 10 inn. (Sun., March 24)

Virginia Tech vs. Miami
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
VIRGINIA TECH 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 11 3
MIAMI 0 0 2 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 5 8 5

Zagunis (C) put Tech on the board first with a two-run homer and Hayden (2B) doubled to bring in Rash (CF) and Horan (LF) and give Tech an early 4-0 lead. Miami added two in the third inning to cut the lead in half, but Tech answered as Rash scored on an error in the top of the fourth.

Miami scored one in the sixth and two in the seventh to tie the game at five. The Hokies escaped further damage in the seventh as Clark Labitan got out of a one-out, bases-loaded situation. Miami threatened again in the eighth with runners on first and third with two outs, but Keselica came in to relieve Labitan and closed out the inning. Tech escaped trouble AGAIN as McIntyre got out of a first and third situation with two outs in the ninth inning.

Pinder (3B) and Zagunis singled to set the stage for a two-run double by Rash that put the Hokies up 7-5. Rash then scored on an error and McIntyre retired the side in order to earn the win.

McIntyre struck out one, issued one walk and allowed no hits over 2.0 innings in the win. A.J. Salcines struck out two, allowed three runs on three hits over 2.0 innings in the loss.

Offensive Highlights:

Mark Zagunis -- 2-5, 2 RBI, 2 R, HR
Chad Pinder -- 2-4, 2 R, SB
Andrew Rash -- 2-5, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2B
Brendon Hayden -- 1-4, 2 RBI, 2B

WP: Tanner McIntyre (3-0): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, K
LP: A.J. Salcines (2-3): 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, BB, 2 K

Series Stats

Offensive:

Alex Perez -- 0-14, 3 R, RBI, 3 BB
Kyle Wernicki -- 3-10, 4 R, 2 RBI, HR, BB
Chad Pinder -- 8-19, 6 R, BB, 2 RBI, 2 2B, SB
Tyler Horan -- 7-17, 4 R, 4 RBI, 4 2B
Mark Zagunis -- 4-14, 4 R, 7 RBI, 3B, 2 HR, BB
Andrew Rash -- 4-16, 4 R, 6 RBI, BB, 2 2B, HR
Brendon Hayden -- 2-13, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB, 2B
Sean Keselica -- 3-11, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB, HR
Gary Schneider -- 4-17, 2 R

Pitching:

Sean Keselica: W, 6.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
Tanner McIntyre: W, 2.2 IP, 2 H R 1 ER 2 BB 2 K
Devin Burke: W, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB 3 K

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