For the first time in three weeks, Virginia Tech played a weekend series without any postponements. The Hokies travelled to South Bend this past weekend to face Notre Dame in an ACC series, losing two of three games.
Tech started off strong in the first game, winning 9-1 over the Irish. Freshman Ian Seymour got the start, pitching seven innings and giving up no runs on five hits. Seymour walked four batters and struck out five in the win, improving to 3-2 in his freshman campaign.
The Hokies scored one run each in the third, fourth, and fifth innings. Tech kicked it up a notch in the sixth, scoring four runs. Sam Fragale hit a home run in the sixth that drove in Luke Horanski and Jack Owens as well.
The Hokies scored two more runs in the eighth to make the score 9-0. Notre Dame got a run across in the bottom of the ninth, but they could not mount a comeback and Tech walked away with the game one win.
Fragale finished Friday’s game 2-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Third baseman Michael Fernandez went 3-for-5 on Friday, coming around to score twice.
Senior Connor Coward got the start for the Hokies in game two on Saturday. Coward lasted six innings, giving up five runs on nine hits in an 8-7 loss in extra innings.
With the Irish up 5-2 in the top of the ninth, Nick Menken and Nick Owens scored on an RBI single by Fernandez. Fernandez would later come around to score on a sacrifice fly by Tom Stoffel to tie the game and send it into extra innings.
The Hokies tacked on three more runs in the top of the 12th. Nick Owens reached base on a fielder’s choice and Horanski, and Jack Owens came around to score.
With no outs and runners on the corners in the bottom of the inning, the Hokies sent Nic Enright to the mound. Notre Dame walked it off on an RBI single by Eric Gilgenbach to win the game.
Enright got tagged with the loss, pitching a third of an inning and giving up one run on one hit.
Menken went 3-for-6 in Saturday’s game, scoring one run and driving in another. Fernandez also had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Notre Dame’s win in game two set up a rubber match on Sunday. The Hokies sent Luke Scherzer to the mound. Scherzer pitched four innings and gave up one earned run on four hits as the Hokies lost 6-5 in the final game of the series.
The game was back-and-forth early on until Notre Dame had a three-run fifth inning to take a 5-3 lead. The Irish tacked on another run in the sixth to make it 6-3.
Down three runs in the top of the ninth, the Hokies nearly came back. Horanski grounded out to first base but was able to drive in Cam Irvine and advance Jack Owens to third. Fragale was the next batter up, and he hit an RBI single down the left field line that drove in Owens to make the score 6-5. Down to their final out, Nick Owens came up to the plate, but struck out swinging to end the game.
Enright got the loss again, pitching 0.2 innings and giving up three runs on three hits.
Despite five runs on seven hits from Tech, the Hokies left nine runners on base in Sunday’s game, something that head coach John Szefc has said the team needs to fix.
With the series against Notre Dame finished, Virginia Tech will have a few days off before travelling to Lexington on Wednesday for a game against VMI. The Keydets are 21-18 on the season and coming off a series win against Furman last weekend.
Wednesday’s game will be the first time the Hokies have traveled to Lexington since the 2016 season. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics
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