clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Virginia Tech Hokies Stop the Skid with a Win over Niagara

The Hokies get a much needed win 8-3 over the Niagara University Purple Eagles. Joe Freiday, Jr. hangs a bunch of RBI’s up on his wall for this one.

Waiting to get into the box
John Schneider - SB Nation

It was breezy with some occasional rain and lots of heavy clouds in Blacksburg, yesterday. The Hokies took the field for the last game before a long road trip with the understanding that they were riding a four loss streak. That knocked them out of the rankings; but also presented them with a challenge. Roadshows are not often very dominant affairs. Granted, the Hokie home stand for February/March was not the greatest, but being the visitor has some serious disadvantages. Tech needed to do something to staunch the bleeding.

The Niagara Purple Eagles dropped by disintegrating English Field (Union Park – Under Construction) for a one game stop. They visited for a three game set in 2011; so we have a little history with them. The Hokies walked away with a 2 game to 1 series win. Tech had an opportunity to get some air back under their wings, and took full advantage.

Virginia Tech Hokies vs Niagara Purple Eagles:

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

Niagara (6-5)

0

0

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

3

2

0

Virginia Tech (9-5)

0

0

0

1

4

0

2

1

X

8

10

3

Win: Connor Coward (2-0)  Loss: Austin Miller (0-1)

The story of this game was the steadiness of the building offense, backed up by Connor Coward and the defense’s successful effort (despite three errors) at keeping the opposition from crossing the plate. Niagara did jump out to a two run lead in the top of the 3rd. That event matched with the single run manufactured in the bottom of the 4th was making the game look ominously like Sunday’s low offensive activity day. Joe Freiday did kill the skunk early but Tech was not really connecting at the plate, either.

Connor held off some control issues to force a double play line drive and a ground out in the top of the 5th. Then Tech went through one of its patented for 2017 scoring flurries in the bottom of the 5th. Rahiem Cooper lead off with a walk, and then somehow Jack Owens beat out a sacrifice bunt attempt to nab an infield single. With men on 1st and 2nd and no outs, someone called for another sac bunt from Ryan Tufts. That pushed Cooper and Owens up one base each.

Tom Stoffel singled and scored Cooper. Then Sam Fragale punched one past the infield to score Owens. Nick Anderson singled to load the bases. Then things started to get shaky for the Niagara pitcher. He accidentally plonked JD Mundy. That mistake cost a run, and kept the bags full of Hokies. Joe Freiday hit an RBI sacrifice fly for the final run of the inning. That put Tech up 5-2, and Niagara never caught up.

The Purple Eagles scored one run in their half of the 7th, but the Hokies answered with 2 more in the bottom of the frame. That was courtesy of a Joe Freiday two-run homer.

Tech scored another run in the bottom of the 8th with the assistance of some pitching control issues by Niagara, and Nick Anderson’s RBI single. The scoring story of this contest was Joe Freiday and his 4 RBI performance. Bet you that he wants to see more days like this.

Virginia Tech Hokies Box Score for March 8th:

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

PO

A

LOB

Jack Owens 2B

5

1

1

0

0

2

2

3

0

Ryan Tufts SS

2

1

0

0

2

0

0

1

0

Tom Stoffel RF

2

2

1

1

1

0

1

0

0

Sam Fragale 1B

5

1

1

1

0

3

14

0

2

Nick Anderson LF

5

0

4

1

0

0

1

0

0

Mac Caples PR/LF

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

JD Mundy DH

3

1

1

1

1

0

0

0

2

Joe Freiday, Jr. C

3

1

2

4

0

0

7

2

0

Garrett Hudson 3B

4

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

6

Rahiem Cooper CF

3

1

0

0

1

1

1

0

0

Connor Coward P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Graham Seitz P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Paul Hall, Jr. P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Kit Scheetz P

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Totals

32

8

10

8

5

6

27

7

10

Home Runs: Freiday

RBI: Stoffel, Fragale, Anderson, Mundy, Freiday (4)

Clutch RBI: Anderson, Freiday

Sacrifice Flies: Freiday

Errors: Fragale, Hudson, Coward, C.

Stranded: 10

There was some satisfaction in the win. The stop was critical as Tech was on a less than stellar defensive effort at home. There are still the excessive error issues that are plaguing the team. Three mistakes in this one didn’t cost the game, but in a game like Sunday’s 2 to 1 squeaker errors nearly always have a negative impact.

The Hokies are on their way out of town, to Williamsburg, for a single game with the Tribe. This is an annual event that sometimes is two, but is more often than not a loss over the last decade. Let’s see if Tech can return the favor from last year’s defeat at home. First pitch is at 6:00 this evening.

GO HOKIES!!!