clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Virginia Tech Hokies Walk-off the Radford Highlanders 4-3 in 10

A Walk-Off!!! The Virginia Tech Hokies snap their two game losing streak against the Radford Highlanders in an extra inning pitchers' duel. Tech goes to 5-3, as the ACC season looms.

Baseball at English Field
Baseball at English Field
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

How many ways can you say "Wowsers"? The Radford Highlanders, our Neighbors and friends (more than a bit of RU gear at Hokie Football games folks) have owned us for two seasons both at home in Blacksburg, and down Prices Fork Road (or Peppers Ferry - take your pick).  Well, not anymore!  Not for the 2016 season, anyway.  It wasn't a beautiful thing, sometimes baseball is less than art and more like who's less tired and can pay attention for just one more out than the other guy.

Virginia Tech Hokies Box Score March 1, 2016:

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

R

H

E

Radford (1-7)

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

1

0

3

6

2

Virginia Tech (5-3)

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

1

4

5

3

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

PO

A

LOB

Saige Jenco CF

4

0

0

0

0

1

2

0

1

Grant Maiorana DH

4

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

Tom Stoffel LF

3

1

0

0

2

2

0

0

2

Phil Sciretta 1B

4

1

2

0

1

0

11

0

0

Max Ponzurick RF

5

1

1

2

0

1

5

1

3

Sam Fragale 3B

4

0

0

0

0

2

1

1

0

Andrew Mogg C

2

0

0

0

1

1

6

2

0

Stevie Mangrum PH

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

Joe Freiday, Jr. C

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Matt Dauby 2B

3

1

1

1

0

1

2

4

0

Ryan Tufts SS

4

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

Andrew McDonald P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

Paul Hall, Jr. P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Connor Coward P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Nick Anderson P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Aaron McGarity P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Totals

34

4

5

3

4

10

30

12

6

Doubles: Maiorana

Home Runs: Ponzurick; Dauby

RBI: Ponzurick (2); Dauby

2-out RBI: Dauby - Mentioned for its sheer CLUTCH FACTOR

It took extra baseball to do it, too.  The reality of the game is that of a mix of control problems saved by good power baseball, and rescued by manufacturing a run on the other guy's mistake.  The game isn't really much to talk about for the first five innings.  Ok, from a Hokie perspective, no one really wants to talk about Radford's top of the 6th much, either.  For most of the game, it was a straight up pitchers' duel between Tech's Andrew McDonald and Radford's Tyler Swarmer.  Five innings had McDonald pitching a shutout, until something gave -that was his control issuing a hit batter and then losing control of a pitch that put Adam Whitacre on 2nd.  A throwing error on a routine ground ball brought Whitacre home.  Another throwing error gave Radford leadoff man Luke Wise third base, and a sacrifice fly brought him home.  There the score would stay until the 9th inning with Paul Hall, Jr. and Connor Coward combining to shut out Radford, again, until there was a little offensive glimmer.

In the top of the 9th the Highlanders were going for a little insurance while looking for a third win in three years.  Nic Anderson relieved Coward, and Radford took a bit of advantage.  He issued a leadoff walk (which every baseball fan knows you always pay for) and was promptly shelled with a deep double and the run scored from 1st.  Anderson would get back to business, and with the exception of a bunt single managed to get out of the inning with the damage limited.

It didn't look particularly great for Tech in the bottom of the 9th.  A three run lead when the offense is struggling is often insurmountable.  Well I guess the Rally Caps were up, and someone played "Sandman" or something, because the Hokie bats woke up big time.   Not before Paul Sciretta drew a leadoff walk (remember those?) and was promptly followed up by MaxP (Max Ponzurick) ringing up a 2 run tater down the left field line.  Suddenly the skunked Hokies were looking like they had something more going than stink.  Of course it couldn't be that easy, and Tech rung up two quick outs and looked like the rally was about to fizzle out.  Matt Dauby evidently thought he needed to get some extra work in today so punched a ball out of English Field for the tying run.  The inning ended on Tufts fly out but the magic had been done.  It was on to the 10th and the first extra inning game for the Hokies this season.

Coach Mason put in Aaron McGarity to shut down Radford. It looked like a potential repeat of the throwing problems that cropped up in the 6th, but eventually McGarity would retire the side and set up Tech for a walk-off opportunity. (Who got the Bucket of Filth?)

Tech started off the 9th with the same aplomb that it started off every other inning in the game.  With two outs and no one on base, it looked like it was going to be a trip to the 11th for everyone. My headline had to change.  Such was not the case, though. Tom Stoffel drew a hard earned walk after getting the count to 3-2.   Phil Sciretta then repeated Stoffel's heart stopping plate appearance and worked the count full, only this time Phil connected with a 2 out single that put Stoffel on 3rd base.  Sciretta would advance to 2nd on what was probably defensive indifference.  There is no telling whether that had any influence on the next play but MaxP would reach on an error by the 3rd Highlander 3rd baseman, and Stoffel hoofed it home for the walk off run.

Who said baseball wasn't exciting?  Ok, so it wasn't exciting for 4/5ths of the game, but a win is a win, and an extra inning walk off after a 4 run rally in 2 innings is one of those sorts of wins that can cement a team's chemistry.

Quinnipiac is next up for a 3 game series at home starting the 4th.

Oh?  Did I mention that we are currently 5 - 3!!!  GO HOKIES!!!!