Virginia Tech was looking to gain some momentum against No. 9 Duke this weekend, hoping to end a slide of four straight ACC series losses. Instead, Duke got the best of the Hokies in the final two games of the series.
Things started off well for Tech, though.
Ian Seymour took the mound for Tech in Friday night’s game. The freshman phenom pitched seven innings, giving up just one run as the Hokies jumped out to a 3-1 lead.
The Blue Devils weren’t going down easy though. Griffin Conine hit a two-RBI double in the top of the eighth to tie the game. Neither team was able to take a lead by the end of the ninth, and the contest went into extra innings.
With two outs and runners on first and second in the bottom of the 11th, JD Mundy stepped up to the plate. He lined a full count pitch into left centerfield, driving in Nick Menken and winning the game for the Hokies.
Mundy came in in the ninth to pinch-hit for Cam Irvine. He finished the game 2-for-2 with an RBI.
Joey Sullivan got the win for Tech, pitching 1.1 innings and giving up just one hit.
Saturday’s game was a different story for the Hokies.
Duke took an early lead in the second, but the Hokies came right back and took a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the third.
Duke would go on to score in the fourth, fifth, seventh, and eighth innings and win the game 11-5 to even the series.
Virginia Tech starter Nic Enright pitched one inning, giving up three runs on two hits. Dylan Hall got tagged with the loss, pitching 2.1 innings and giving up two runs on one hit.
Sam Fragale was the bright spot for the Hokies’ offense on Saturday, going 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs.
Sunday’s finale continued the downward trend of the weekend as Duke won 7-0. Duke starter Ryan Day limited the Hokies to no runs and just five hits. Day struck out six batters in the seven innings he pitched.
“He threw a lot of strikes, mixed pitches. He was just very good. Very good,” Virginia Tech head coach John Szefc said of Day’s performance.
The Hokies had opportunities on offense as the leadoff man reached base in each of the first three innings. As it has all season long, situational hitting continued to be a problem for Tech.
The Hokies were just 1-for-8 with runners on base and 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
Connor Coward started on the mound for Tech, pitching five innings and giving up five runs on 10 hits. Coward struck out three batters, becoming just the fourth Virginia Tech pitcher to reach 50 strikeouts in ACC games in a season.
With the Duke series now behind them, the Hokies turn their attention to a midweek matchup with VMI before having a free weekend.
According to Szefc, the VMI game on Tuesday will be good for the Hokies, despite the short turnaround.
“Normally when you’re not having a whole lot of success, it’s good to get back out,” Szefc said.
Tuesday’s game against VMI is the second matchup between the two programs in the past week. The Keydets won last week’s game 9-7 on a walk-off home run. Tuesday’s first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at English Field.
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics
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