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Hokies Split Saturday Double Header with Duke

Tech almost nabbed the entire double header on Saturday. The Day game was a 10 inning comeback by the Hokies that Duke walked off by 1 run; 5-6. The Night game was a different story. Tech battled the Blue Devils for 6 and a half, broke the tie, and then held on to win the game 7-5

Big hit from the left side
John Schneider - SB Nation

Sunday’s excitement was the basketball news, Saturday’s might have been a split with Duke, if Tech Baseball had their way. The first game was an ‘almost’. The Hokies could have held on for the win, but after a furious comeback and a near miraculous buckle down pitching performance by Andrew McDonald, Tech dropped the 2nd game of their ACC opening series with Duke. Saturday was Double Header Day, again. Frustratingly, it was another extra inning one run difference in the day game. McDonald ended up with a statistical ND, but I am sure the Hokies would have really liked to nail this one down for a change.

Virginia Tech Hokies vs Duke Blue Devils Game 2 (Day game of a Saturday DH):

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

R

H

E

Virginia Tech (9-8, 0-2)

0

0

0

0

3

0

1

1

0

0

5

9

0

Duke (10-7, 2-0)

4

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

6

11

2

Win: Jack Labosky (1-0) Loss: Joey Sullivan (0-2)

Ok, McDonald had a bit of a shaky start. He walked the lead runner and even though getting a scattered out here and there allowed 2 singles and a double for 4 earned runs. I guess that got his back up as well, because for the remainder of his five full innings on the mound, he walked no one else, and threw 11 KO’s. For the remainder of his time on the mound Duke only managed an inconsequential single and a no-harm double. McDonald showing signs of life, including some guts, is a good thing.

Virginia Tech Box Score for March 11th Day Game:

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

PO

A

LOB

Jack Owens 2B

5

1

1

0

0

1

0

3

3

Ryan Tufts SS

4

2

0

0

2

0

2

3

0

Tom Stoffel RF

6

0

4

3

0

1

2

0

1

Sam Fragale 1B

4

1

1

1

1

2

8

1

0

JD Mundy DH

4

0

1

0

2

1

0

0

4

Stevie Mangrum LF

3

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

Rahiem Cooper PH/CF

1

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

2

Matt Dauby 3B

2

0

0

0

1

2

0

1

0

Garrett Hudson PH/3B

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

Marcus White C

4

0

1

0

0

2

13

1

3

Mac Caples CF/LF

4

1

1

0

0

0

1

0

2

Andrew McDonald P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Kit Scheetz P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Joey Sullivan P

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Totals

37

5

9

5

6

12

29

9

15

Doubles: Owens, Stoffel, White, M.

RBI: Stoffel (3), Fragale, Hudson

Sacrifice Flies: Fragale, Hudson

People left stranded who could have made a difference: 15

Tech’s offense didn’t wake up until the top of the 5th inning when Matt Caples led off with a single and Jack Owens smacked a double. Ryan Tufts walked to load the bags, and Tom Stoffel clobbered a 2 RBI single. Sam Fragale drove an RBI sacrifice fly to right field, but the scoring stopped as the remainder of the order failed to make contact with the ball, only JD Mundy reaching the bases on a walk.

Tech managed to tie the game in the top of the 7th with a sacrifice fly by Garrett Hudson that scored Sam Fragale. Unfortunately Duke’s Jimmy Heron hit a home run off of reliever Kit Sheetz. Tech evened it back in the top of the 8th with Ryan Tufts reaching 2nd on a throwing error, and Tom Stoffel’s double to get him across. Unfortunately no one could get Tom off of 2nd base and no one made solid contact with a ball until the bottom of the 10th when Duke manufactured a walk off run with a single, sac bunt, sac grounder, and a single.

The bright spot in the game may have been the sudden realization by the Hokies that they actually could beat the Blue Devils if they could get some more people off of the bases by crossing the plate instead of running into the dugout for their gloves.

What a difference that effort made.

Virginia Tech Hokies vs Duke Blue Devils Game 3 (Night game of a Saturday DH):

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

Virginia Tech (10-8, 1-2)

2

0

1

0

0

0

4

0

0

7

10

1

Duke (10-8, 2-1)

1

1

0

0

0

1

0

2

0

5

7

1

Win: Nick Anderson (3-1) Loss: Matt Mervis (0-1)

Tech opened the Night Cap with some solid offense right from the start. It was a complete Tech turn around in attitude and performance. The Hokies opened the scoring with two runs in the top of the 1st inning. Jack Owens smashed a leadoff single, there was a wild pitch in there somewhere and a Tom Stoffel single. JD Mundy cleared both of them off the bags with a "sort of double" as he advanced to 2nd on a single and the throw.

Both teams traded single runs in the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th innings. The top of the 7th opened with a 3 to 3 tie and some shades of the day game beginning to show. Tech broke the tie before the 2nd out, by manufacturing a run. Rahiem Cooper led off with a single, then worked his way around the bags on two throwing errors to end up on 3rd. Coach Mason called for a squeeze (with Cooper’s speed who wouldn’t?) Ryan Tufts laid down the Sac Bunt but made it to 1st on a fielder’s choice, and Cooper scored. The Blue Devils would pay for that with Tom Stoffel’s 2 RBI Home Run to Right Field.

To add some insurance, with a few outs remaining, Sam Fragale walked and then, like Rahiem Cooper worked his way to 3rd on a wild pitch and a ground out. Matt Caples rapped a solid single over the middle, and Sam scored the last Hokie run of the game.

Duke would mount a 2 run rally attempt in the bottom of the 8th, but Aaron McGarity closed the door on them in the bottom of the 9th with two timely strike outs and a ground ball.

Virginia Tech Box Score for March 11th Night Game:

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

PO

A

LOB

Jack Owens 2B

5

2

2

0

0

0

1

3

0

Ryan Tufts SS

2

1

1

1

2

0

1

1

0

Tom Stoffel RF

3

2

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

Sam Fragale 1B

4

1

0

0

1

3

8

1

0

JD Mundy DH

5

0

1

2

0

1

0

0

3

Mac Caples LF

5

0

1

1

0

3

2

0

3

Garrett Hudson 3B

3

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

1

Marcus White C

4

0

0

0

0

1

10

0

0

Rahiem Cooper CF

4

1

1

0

0

0

3

0

1

Nick Anderson P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

Connor Coward P

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Aaron McGarity P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Totals

35

7

10

6

4

8

27

8

8

Home Runs: Stoffel

RBI: Tufts, R.; Stoffel (2), Mundy (2), Caples

Clutch RBI: Mundy (2), Caples

Stolen Bases: Caples

Stranded: 8

A split double header isn’t the worst outcome possible. It would have been wonderful to grab that first game, for a 2-1 league record, but the win is a win, and it certainly made up for the dismal Friday when little went right.

The Canisius game that would have been played on Tuesday and Wednesday was moved up to Monday, and the team just snuck it in before the snow began to fall over English Field. Looks like this one is a onesie for now. We’ll get to the write up, but Tech earned its 2nd shutout of the season and put 11 on the board. Two wins in a row are a good thing to carry into the weekend.

Florida State is visiting disintegrating English Field, Union Park Rising for a three game series. Unfortunately the ‘Noles are ranked #1 so it’s going to be a tough matchup. The Hokies have proven that if they don’t make mistakes, and play good ball they can hang with and beat good teams. Pictures will be in the offing. I had hoped from Canisius shots to go with the mix, but Mother Nature had other plans.

GO HOKIES!!!