Hokies go 3-1 in Irish Baseball Classic

Andrew Rash finished the weekend with four RBI and two runs scored - Associated Press

The Hokies headed to Cary, N.C. to take part in the Irish Baseball Classic, presumably hosted by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. You may be wondering why a tournament hosted by Notre Dame was held just outside of Raleigh. That makes two of us. But I digress. The Hokies went 3-1 in the tournament and head back to Blacksburg with an 11-2 record.

(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 :: No. 25 Virginia Tech 7, Rhode Island 3 (Fri., March 1)

Virginia Tech (9-1) vs. Rhode Island (0-9)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
RHODE ISLAND 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 10 1
VIRGINIA TECH 0 0 2 0 0 1 4 0 x 7 14 3

In their first outing of the tournament, the Hokies scored seven runs while hammering out 14 hits. The Rams started the scoring with two in the third inning, benefiting from two Hokie errors. Jeff Roy singled to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a throwing error by Sean Keselica (1B). Joe Landi followed with a single of his own and then advanced on wild pitch, giving the Rams runners on second and third with no outs. Mike LaBel reached on a throwing error by Alex Perez (SS), scoring both Roy and Landi. The Hokies escaped the top of the inning with just two runs allowed thanks to a double play and fielders choice.

In the bottom of the third inning, Gary Schneider (RF) reached base on a single, giving the Hokies their first base runner of the game. After a single by Matt Dauby (2B), Keselica singled in Schneider and Chad Pinder (3B) singled in Dauby to tie the game. Rhode Island added their final run of the game in the top of the fourth inning with a groundout by Landi to score Shane O'Connell. Tech trailed until the bottom of the sixth when a bases-loaded fielder's choice by Brendon Hayden (DH) plated Mark Zagunis (C).

The Hokies tacked on four runs in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win. Pinder doubled in Perez to start the scoring and Horan hit a two-run single with the bases loaded to score Pinder and Keselica. Andrew Rash (CF) doubled in Zagunis to cap the scoring for the Hokies.

Jake Joyce earned the win with 2.0 innings in relief, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out two. Clark Labitan closed out the game, but did not earn a save. Sean Furney allowed 11 hits and six earned runs over 6.1 innings pitched.

Rhode Island stranded 13 runners on base.

Offensive highlights:

Chad Pinder -- 2-4, 2 RBI, R
Tyler Horan -- 2-4, 2 RBI
Andrew Rash -- 3-4, RBI

WP: Jake Joyce (2-1): 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K
LP: Sean Furney (0-1): 6.1 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 3 K

GAME 2 :: No. 25 Virginia Tech 8, Ohio University 2 (Fri., March 1)

Virginia Tech (10-1) vs. Ohio (1-5)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
OHIO UNIVERSITY 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 1
VIRGINIA TECH 2 2 3 0 0 1 0 0 x 8 14 3

In the second game of the day, the Hokies had 14 hits again bringing their total to 28 on the day. This time though, the opposition's bats weren't quite so hot as the Hokies' pitching staff held the Bobcats to just four hits.

Tech started the scoring in the bottom of the first inning as Keselica (1B) singled and Pinder (3B) was hit by a pitch, setting the stage for a two-run double by Zagunis (LF). Ohio tied the game in the top of the second inning behind four walks by starting pitcher Eddie Campbell. Campbell and the Hokies avoided further damage as he struck out Taylor Emody with the bases loaded to end the inning.

Brendon Hayden (DH) hit a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the second and Keselica hit an RBI-triple to plate Perez (SS) and give the Hokies a 4-2 lead. The Hokies continued to pound away at the Bobcats in the bottom of the third as Rash (CF) doubled in Zagunis and Horan (RF) and later scored on single by Chad Morgan (C). With the Hokies up 7-2 in the sixth inning, Zagunis singled in Keselica to put the Hokies lead at six.

After a rough second inning, Campbell calmed down considerably and finished the game with 10 strikeouts over 7.0 innings of work and allowing just two hits and the four walks in the second inning. Luis Collazo and Schneider pitched an inning each in relief, allowing one hit apiece and no runs. Jake Miller allowed 13 hits over 5.2 innings in the loss.

Offensive Highlights

Sean Keselica -- 3-5, RBI, 2 R, 3B
Mark Zagunis -- 3-4, 3 RBI, R, 2B
Chad Morgan -- 2-4, RBI

WP: Eddie Campbell (1-0): 7.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 10 K
LP: Jake Miller (1-2): 5.2 IP, 13 H, 8 R, 8 ER, K

GAME 3 :: No. 22 Notre Dame 3, No. 25 Virginia Tech 0 (Sat., March 2)

Virginia Tech (10-2) vs. Notre Dame (8-1)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
VIRGINIA TECH 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2
NOTRE DAME 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 x 3 5 0

In the marquee match-up of the weekend, No. 22 Notre Dame handed Virginia Tech its second loss of the season. After racking up 28 hits over the first two games, the Hokies ran into a roadblock against the Irish pitching staff. The two teams combined for just two bases runners over the first three innings of play, with the Irish registering a hit and getting a runner on base via an error.

Eric Jagielo singled to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning and Trey Mancini took Tech starter Brad Markey deep to give Notre Dame a 2-0 lead. Frank De Sico got on base via a fielding error and Mancini plated him with a single to give Notre Dame a 3-0 lead.

After two quick outs in the top of the 9th, Pinder (3B) and Zagunis (C) singled to put runners on first and third for Horan (LF). Horan, the potential tying run, popped out to end the game.

Adam Norton allowed only four hits and struck out five in the complete game win for Notre Dame. Markey pitched 8.0 innings and allowed only five hits while striking out seven.

Offensive Highlights

Chad Pinder -- 1-3, BB

WP: Adam Norton (3-0): 9.0 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K
LP: Brad Markey (2-1): 8.0, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 7 K

GAME 4 :: No. 25 Virginia Tech 7, Tennessee 3 (Sun., March 3)

Virginia Tech (11-2) vs. Tennessee (4-7)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
VIRGINIA TECH 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 3 0 7 11 1
TENNESSEE 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 3 8 1

Horan (RF) got the scoring started for the Hokies with a three-run triple in the third inning that scored Pinder (3B), Perez (SS) and Dauby (2B). After Zagunis (LF) lined out to third base, Rash (CF) singled in Horan to give the Hokies a 4-0 lead.

The Volunteers added a run in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings, including two runs coming off the bat of Will Maddox. Tech tacked on three more runs in the top of the eighth as Perez walked with the bases loaded to bring home Rash. With the bases still loaded, Keselica (1B) hit a two-run single to plate Dauby and Kyle Wernicki (PH for Hayden at DH).

Tennessee had a pair of base runners on in the bottom of the ninth, but Joyce struck out Taylor Smart to end the game and earn a save.

Devin Burke pitched 5.2 innings and allowed six hits and two earned runs while striking out three. Jake Joyce earned the save with 3.1 innings of two-hit pitching. Aaron Quillen was handed the loss with 6.0 innings of work, allowing eight hits and two earned runs for the Vols.

Offensive Highlights

Tyler Horan -- 1/5, 3 RBI, 3B, R
Sean Keselica -- 1/4, 2 RBI
Matt Dauby -- 2/3, RBI, 2 R

WP: Devin Burke (3-0): 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 K
LP: Aaron Quillen (0-1): 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 2 ER, BB, K
S: Jake Joyce (2): 3.1 IP, 2 H, 2 K

Series Stats

Offensive:

Andrew Rash -- 6/13, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2B
Sean Keselica -- 7/18, 4 RBI, 2 R, 3B
Chad Pinder -- 6/14, 2 RBI, BB, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 BB
Tyler Horan -- 4/13, 5 RBI, 2 R, 2B, 3B
Matt Dauby -- 4/11, 3 R, BB

Pitching:

Brad Markey -- Loss, 8.0, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 7 K
Eddie Campbell -- Win, 7.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 10 K
Devin Burke -- Win, 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 K
Jake Joyce -- Win, Save, 5.1 IP, 4 H, 4 K, 2 BB

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