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Virginia Tech Hokies defeat the Nevada Wolf Pack in Game 3: 8-5

Game 3 for the Hokie Baseball Team was a full 9 inning deal with a game winning homer in the top of the 9th needed to cap a four run comeback. Tech earns a possible split, but they can still win the series on Sunday.

Game Ends and Hokies Head to the Clubhouse
Game Ends and Hokies Head to the Clubhouse
John Schneider - SB Nation

The Baseball Hokies seem to have taken a lesson from the Football and Basketball Hokies.  They just don't seem to give up.  Virginia Tech defeated the Nevada Wolf Pack and it took every out of nine full innings to do it.

Hokies vs. Nevada Wolf Pack Game 3 February 25:

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

Virginia Tech (6-1)

0

0

0

2

2

1

0

0

3

8

15

2

Nevada (2-4)

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

5

9

1

Win: Aaron McGarity (1-0) Loss: Evan McMahan (1-1)

It looked like the Hokies may have come out just a bit flat.  Jack Owens, Jr. lead off the 1st with a single, and then everything took an offensive break for Tech for three innings.  Nevada, on the other hand had some other ideas in mind.  They had some momentum from the game 2 win, last night.  That snoot full helped them rough up Andrew McDonald in the first and second with 4 runs.  The bottom of the 1st might have been pure fun if it hadn't been the opposition doing the small ball high energy base running that included a double steal one base of which was home plate.  The bottom of the 2nd was a more standard progression of hit, advance, and score type baseball.  Unfortunately another error resulted in runs being scored.

The Hokie offense finally got going in the top of the 4th, with Ryan Tufts leading off the inning with a double, and then advancing to 3rd on Tom Stoffel's ground ball to 2nd.   Nick Anderson got Tufts home on a grounder to 3rd, and with one out remaining on the board, Sam Fragale dropped a homer over the left-center field wall.

McDonald pitched a relatively clean bottom half of the 4th.  Nevada had a single that was effectively erased by a double play to end the inning.  The Tech half of the 5th inning got things evened up.  Matt Dauby doubled, then a missed Nevada pickoff attempt got him to 3rd.   Rahiem Cooper dropped in a bunt single that didn't score Dauby, but did pay off later in the inning.  Jack Owens drove a single in to left center field.  That hit finally plated Dauby, and Owens landed on 2nd with Cooper on 3rd on the throw.  After a Tufts pop-up, Tom Stoffel hit a grounder into the 2nd base hole that allowed Cooper to score from 3rd base. That rally tied the game at 4 runs each.

Tech would put together a scrambling bottom of the 5th.  McDonald lost some control with a wild pitch and two walks, but also eventually struck out the side.  The top of the 6th looked like it was going to end with a lead off Sam Fragale Double until Matt Dauby singled up the middle.  That RBI put the Hokies ahead until the bottom of the 8th inning.

Andrew McDonald was pulled and Graham Seitz took the mound for the setup frame.  He started out well, with a strike out.  Then the wheels fell off his inning.  He walked the next batter, and the third batter of the inning rapped a single deep enough to score the runner from first base.  That re-tied the ball game and threatened to repeat Game 1's dangerous Wolf Pack late inning theatrics.

Kit Sheetz, whose arm must be approaching noodle strength about now, came in to pitch, but was used only to intentionally walk the Nevada batter.  Aaron McGarity then took the mound and induced a ground ball for a double play, thus closing out the inning but leaving Tech with some offensive work to do in the top of the 9th.

The Hokies needed a run, or more, but a run.  The inning didn't start out looking like it was going to happen.  Matt Dauby grounded out to lead off; but Rahiem Cooper shook off the first out, and singled to get the go ahead run on base.  Jack Owens made it an easy issue by belting a 2-run homer to left center field.  Tech led by its biggest margin 2 runs, but the offense wasn't over just yet.  Ryan Tufts decided to hop on the Tater Wagon and powered one out over the left field wall.  That put the Hokies ahead 8-5, and Andrew McGarity was on the mound for the critical bottom of the 9th.  It was a bit of a nervous start with a walk, but the second batter grounded into a fielder's choice, and McGarity struck out the remaining two of the Pack to end the game with a Hokie victory.

Virginia Tech Hokies Game 3 Box Score:

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

PO

A

LOB

Jack Owens 3B

5

1

4

3

0

1

1

3

1

Ryan Tufts SS

5

2

2

1

0

0

3

4

0

Tom Stoffel RF

5

0

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

Nick Anderson DH

4

0

0

1

1

1

0

0

2

Sam Fragale 1B

5

2

3

1

0

0

10

1

1

Stevie Mangrum LF

2

0

0

0

1

1

1

0

0

Mac Caples PH/LF

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Joe Freiday, Jr. C

4

0

0

0

0

2

7

1

1

Matt Dauby 2B

4

1

3

1

0

0

3

5

0

Rahiem Cooper CF

4

2

2

0

0

1

2

0

1

Andrew McDonald P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Graham Seitz P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Kit Scheetz P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Aaron McGarity P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Totals

39

8

15

8

2

7

27

14

6

Doubles: Tufts, Fragale, Dauby (2)

Home Runs: Owens, Tufts, Fragale

RBI: Owens (3), Tufts, Stoffel, Anderson, Fragale, Dauby

Clutch RBI: Fragale, Dauby

The win was a scrambling come from behind, lose the lead, and regain it in the 9th sort of game.  It wasn't a walk off because Tech wasn't the home team, but it is as close to one as a visiting team can get.  There seems to be a certain energy that is infesting various Virginia Tech sports squads.  There is a "never give up" attitude that drove the football team, drives the men's basketball team, and now looks like it is visiting the dugout for Hokies baseball.

This is one of those hard fought wins that can really energize a baseball team.  We'll see how the weather cooperates for Sunday's game.  There is snow predicted in Reno.  The Hokies have earned at least a split with the Wolf Pack.  Let's see if they can grab a series win, tomorrow. (Today... that is. -ed.)

GO HOKIES!!!!